EA splits with FIFA, announces EA Sports FC
Electronic Arts announced that it’s ending its partnership of nearly thirty years with FIFA and renaming its popular soccer series EA Sports FC.
According to the announcement, this year’s title from the publisher will be the last FIFA game from EA, with “more info” about EA Sports FC coming in Summer 2023, most likely after the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup concludes. The New York Times reports that the current deal was set to expire after the 2022 World Cup but was “adjusted to run through to the Women’s World Cup next summer.”
Beyond the name, not much else will change for the long-running franchise, as EA Sports group GM Cam Weber frames it. EA Sports FC will include “the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes” as FIFA. That’s thanks to its “300+ license partners” and “licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades.”
EA even quoted its licensing partners to assure players that they won’t be missing much. Quoted parties include the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, UEFA, CONMEBOL, and Nike, all of whom will still work with EA.
The main reason for the split comes from FIFA wanting to “attach its brand to other digital products, including other video games,” the Times reports. FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, also sought to double the $150 million licensing fee that EA was already paying, too.
However, EA’s dealings with FIFA might not be entirely finished. EA CEO Andrew Wilso floated the possibility that EA and FIFA can work out a separate deal to include future World Cups in the series. But for now, it looks like FIFA 23 will be the last EA Sports game to represent soccer’s international governing body.