Announced by EA Sports Tuesday that the football title it will publish in 2023 will be part of the new EA Sports FC brand, doing away with the FIFA name the series has used since the Sega Genesis and Super NES. This announcement marks a significant breakthrough for one of the oldest and most popular ongoing franchises in video game history.
“We are grateful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson. “The future of world football is very bright and fans around the world have never been stronger. We have an incredible opportunity to make EA Sports FC the center of sports and offer even more innovative and authentic experiences to a growing football audience.”
EA’s upcoming non-FIFA football game will still have “over 300 individual licensed partners, giving players access to over 19,000 athletes from 700 teams, 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues worldwide.” These partners include major international leagues such as Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, UEFA, CONMEBOL, and more.
In addition to the name on the cover, the new branded game will also not have any official references to the World Cup, an international tournament held every four years under the auspices of FIFA. EA has partnered with FIFA to release select branded Soccer World Cup released every four years from 1998 to 2014 and introduced a separate World Cup mode to its lucrative Ultimate Team digital card game for FIFA 14. This integration has expanded into a wider update of the World Cup in FIFA 18.
Reports offer FIFA 23— which will release later this year as EA’s last FIFA-licensed game — will further expand the World Cup mode to include the Women’s World Cup for the first time in the franchise’s history. “Our final FIFA The product will also include more game modes, features, teams, leagues, players and competitions than any previous edition,” EA said in a statement.
The separation of EA from FIFA did not come as a surprise. The gaming mega-publisher has publicly stated that it is “revisiting our naming rights agreement with FIFA”. last October among reports disputes over exclusivity and licensing costs. And February report suggested that Wilson told EA staff that the FIFA license “deprived us of the ability to branch into areas that players want” in terms of gameplay.
Even the special EA Sports FC branding came as no surprise; the term appeared in a trademark application last year, and VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb confirmed the name in the March chat with Giant Bomb.
Last year, New York Times informed that FIFA was asking EA to double the $150 million the publisher was already paying annually for the rights to its trademark. Meanwhile, EA has reportedly begun to question how much the FIFA name has brought to its popular gaming franchise.
“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a year without a World Cup is four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people no longer see the box because they buy the game digitally.” Wilson. reportedly told employees at the November general meeting.
Possibly in anticipation of FIFA’s announcement on Tuesday announced yesterday that it is already working with new partners on “non-simulation” soccer games that will launch later this year. This wording is reminiscent of Take-Two’s 2020 comeback announcement NFL2K franchisewhich will bypass EA’s exclusive license to NFL “simulations”. offering “a simulation-free football game experience”.
But FIFA also says it is “engaging with leading game publishers, media companies and investors regarding the development of a major new FIFA football simulation game for 2024.” The organization also says it will continue the agreement on numbered annual FIFA releasing the game with their new partners.
“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game bearing the FIFA name will be the best available to gamers and football fans,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Monday. “The FIFA title is the only global original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25and FIFA 26and so on – the constant is the name of FIFA, and it will remain forever and will remain best“.
EA’s partnership with FIFA began in 1993. FIFA International Footballfollowed by yearly releases every year as well as occasional spin-offs such as FIFA street. The only game series with a comparable continuous yearly release streak is EA. Madden NFL franchise that began in 1988 and will keep this branding despite the death of John Madden late last year.
This story originally appeared on Ars Technique.
Credit: www.wired.com /