It’s a real thunderclap in the world of video games. Electronic Arts (EA) has announced the end of a nearly 30-year partnership with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Fifa 23 will therefore be the last game to bear this name. The next title, scheduled for next year, will be called EA Sport FC.
A franchise that has marked generations
However, the partnership between EA and FIFA has lasted since 1993 and has crossed the years and the consoles; the first FIFA game, FIFA International Soccer, was thus playable on the Sega MegaDrive as well as on the Nintendo Super NES. Since then, a game has been released every year. The only franchise to feature a comparable unbroken annual series is EA’s Madden NFL, an American football simulation.
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However, the end of this collaboration does not mean the end of the cult game for players. ” Our vision for EA Sports FC is to create the biggest and most impactful football club in the world, at the epicenter of football fandom said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. ” For nearly 30 years, we’ve been building the largest football community in the world – with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of partner athletes and hundreds of leagues, federations and teams. EA Sports FC will be the club for all of them, and football fans everywhere “, he continued.
Electronic Arts will always matter” over 300 licensed partners, giving players access to over 19,000 athletes in 700 teams, 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues worldwide “. The firm has notably concluded exclusive agreements with the Premier League, La Liga Santander, the Bundesliga, Serie A and even MLS.
FIFA 23 will be the last game to be called that
The release of the next and last Fifa game, Fifa 23, should be delayed around the World Cup in Qatar. In this context, the game should highlight the men’s competition as well as the Women’s World Cup for the first time. ” Our final FIFA product will also include more game modes, features, teams, leagues, players and competitions than any previous edition. EA said in a press release.
” We are grateful for our many years of excellent partnership with FIFA. The future of world football is very bright, and the fandom across the world has never been stronger. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA Sports FC at the heart of the sport, and bring even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience. “said Andrew Wilson.
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— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) May 10, 2022
Although significant, the separation between the two parties was to be expected. Ars-Technica explains that FIFA earns around $150 million a year thanks to its licensing agreement with EA. In negotiations with the publisher, FIFA reportedly demanded a payment of more than $1 billion for each World Cup cycle. The two parties have also reportedly disagreed over the scope of the partnership, including aspects such as exclusivity.
So when Fifa 22 was released, EA said they were reviewing “ its naming rights agreement with FIFA “.
FIFA promises new games made by other publishers
For its part, FIFA seems to have a bitter taste. The organization said it will release non-simulated games created in collaboration with other developers during the third quarter of this year. He further assures engage with leading game publishers, media companies and investors towards the development of a major new FIFA football simulation game title for 2024 “.
” I can assure you that the only authentic and real game that bears the FIFA name will be the best available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global and original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25, and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the name FIFA and it will forever remain and remain the best said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a statement.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine a studio, apart from Konami, publisher of Pro Evolution Soccer, capable of unveiling with a game of the magnitude of those made by Electronic Arts as early as 2023.