Over the past three decades, FIFA, which is the title of international soccer’s governing body, has become synonymous with EA Sports’ extremely popular soccer video game series. However, this long-running partnership between FIFA and EA Sports is coming to an end.
On May 10th, EA Sports announced that it will rename its almost 30-year long-run video game franchise – FIFA – to EA Sports FC. After the release of FIFA 23 later this year, EA Sports will also discontinue its association with the World Cup – the international soccer tournament run by FIFA. Changes that EA promises to make without sacrificing the game’s ‘experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes’.
The Rebranded game according to EA Sports will continue to maintain its “more than 300 individual licensed partners, giving players access to more than 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world”.
To pay homage to the long-standing partnership, EA Sports plans to make FIFA 23 the most expansive iteration of the series ever released. The game is set to boast both a men’s and – for the first time ever – women’s World Cup mode.
An Unexpected Split?
EA’s split comes at no shock to fans.
The conflict and eventual divorce between FIFA and EA Sports mainly came down to money and exclusivity.
Last October, EA hinted at the possible rebranding after FIFA started demanding more money. Noticing the lucrative profits EA was making, FIFA attempted to rework their agreement to get double the $150 million annual licensing fee from EA Sports. An increase that would raise FIFA’s profits from the video game to over $1 billion for each quadrennial World Cup cycle.
Regardless of any conflicts, Cam Weber, EVP of EA, assures fans that ‘global football has been part of EA SPORTS for nearly thirty years – and today, we’re ensuring that it will be for decades to come’.