FIFA is taking away EA’s exclusive license so FIFA is now EA Sports FC

One of EA’s biggest properties is the FIFA series of games and now FIFA has decided that EA shouldn’t hold exclusive rights to the name anymore.

While EA will still release a FIFA title this year – FIFA 23 – it will be the last FIFA game from the publisher as it adopts the new moniker EA Sports FC.

The good news for fans of EA’s games is that it will retain licenses for “more than 300 partners” giving players access to 19 000 athletes, 700 teams, 100 stadiums and 30 leagues.

“We’re thankful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA. The future of global football is very bright, and fandom around the world has never been stronger. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA SPORTS FC at the heart of the sport, and to bring even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience,” EA’s chief executive officer, Andrew Wilson said in a press release.

However, FIFA appears to be of the opinion that the only reason people played FIFA games was because of the FIFA licensing. While FIFA is a recognisable name, games that have been licensed by official bodies aren’t guaranteed to be a hit.

“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,” FIFA president, Gianni Infantino said in a statement.

That is a big claim to be making especially when one considers just how well FIFA has secured the football game market. During the final quarter of its 2022 financial year, EA reported that FIFA had more than 150 million accounts while FIFA Mobile saw player growth surge forward 80 percent. That’s also not taking into account that EA has been making FIFA games since the mid-90s and those decades of experience aren’t tied to a license.

While we can argue about the pervasiveness of microtransactions and the overall quality of the games over the years, the success of EA’s football games is undeniable.

However, this development presents a chance for other developers to take a stab at creating a FIFA game and that’s a good thing. To that end, FIFA says it is engaging with “leading game publishers, media companies and investors” regarding the creation of a successor to EA’s FIFA 23 for 2024.

We now wait for the first non-EA FIFA game and more importantly, to find out if Infantino’s promise of it remaining “THE BEST” holds true.




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