After months of speculation, Electronic Arts has confirmed that it’s ditching the FIFA brand for all future football titles.
From next year onwards, EA’s beloved football gaming series will be called EA Sports FC, which sounds like some weird nascent MLS team. According to a press statement, the extortionate cost of the licence was one reason why the decision was made to end the long-running partnership.
Don’t worry about the series becoming akin to the messy Pro Evolution Soccer, though, as EA still reportedly retains licensing deals with a whopping 19,000 players, 700 teams, and over 30 leagues across the globe.
That includes UEFA, which ensures the iconic Champions League will still be part of the game. The World Cup, however, will not as FIFA owns the rights to that competition.
The EA FIFA titles have been an annual favourite for football gamers going all the way back to 1993, when the humble FIFA International Soccer wowed fans on the Sega Mega Drive. Since then, EA has easily beaten off competition from the likes of Pro Evolution Soccer.
Could FIFA now present a stronger challenge? The football governing body sent out a powerful press statement of their own after EA’s, insisting that “a number of new non-simulation games are already under production and will launch during the third quarter of this year.”
FIFA president Giannia Infantino also issued a battle cry: “I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the Fifa name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The Fifa name is the only global, original title. Fifa 23, Fifa 24, Fifa 25 and Fifa 26, and so on – the constant is the Fifa name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.”
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The crucial decision will be deciding which publisher to work with, but it will be interesting to see if long-standing followers of the FIFA series remain with EA or follow the FIFA name.
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