EA and FIFA split up as future games pursue rebranding

EA and FIFA split up after talks of renewal for the franchise fail to come to an agreement. A ten year licensing agreement between EA and FIFA comes to an end. FIFA released the following statement:

FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and eSports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights.”

The statement subtly faults EA as the dominating factor due to the licensing advantages the agreement gave them as well as branching out with other publishers “to maximize all future opportunities.” Which is to say that the FIFA brand is not at any risk of disappearing from video games entirely. We can most certainly expect FIFA to find more partnerships in the future. Good news for FIFA fans I’m certain.

This was bought on by an impasse with EA during their talks of renewal, which had been going on for two years by then. FIFA, obviously unhappy with EA controlling most of football’s video gaming stake, has asked publisher EA to pay $1 billion in order to continue using the FIFA license for it’s games, which is more than double the initial amount both companies have decided on.

In the midst of declining to renew, Andrew Kiya reports that EA has filed for an application to change the name of their FIFA franchise to “EA Sports FC” (Football Club). The current partnership agreement is set to end at around November 2022, FIFA 22 will be the last of it’s name with further sequels being renamed, possibly EA Sports FC.

EA and FIFA split

Another game franchise, PES (Pro Evolution Soccer), was rebranded by Konami to eFootball and it’s not going so well for them. Aside from the Free to Play model with a promise of further updates in the future, the game came out minor features and hilarious glitches. I personally would give it a pass for now until they go back to fixing this game as it pales in comparison to FIFA 22.

So while EA and FIFA have split up, their respective futures seem fine, especially given how healthy EA has been doing financially at the moment. As for EA’s business practices as that’s a story for another time. Both EA and FIFA seem to have decided that this is the best for both parties and that they’ve grown their separate ways.

The most recent release in the FIFA franchise was FIFA 22. It launched on September 27, 2021 for consoles and PC.

Sources: FIFA, The New York Times