Sports

FIFA will soon no longer be called FIFA

AndThe first signs of the end of the partnership, which has lasted for 23 years now, had already appeared in October. Now it’s official: by far the most popular football video game will no longer be called “FIFA” from 2023, but “EA Sports FC”, as announced Tuesday evening by US video game provider Electronic Arts (EA). The partnership with the FIFA World Football Federation will not be extended. The “FIFA 2023” scheduled for this fall will be EA’s last game with the association name for the time being.

As a result, players will no longer be able to play in the World Cup and other tournaments to which FIFA owns the rights. Otherwise, according to EA, nothing will change. Exclusive partnerships with national leagues such as the Bundesliga, the British Premier League, the Spanish “Liga” or the Italian Serie A would also continue. Users can then continue playing with the corresponding teams in their respective stadiums.

FIFA wants to offer its own game

As reported by the New York Times, FIFA would have asked for at least a doubling of the fee, which had previously been 150 million dollars. Financial problems were obviously not the only reason for the separation. Additionally, FIFA is said to have insisted on being able to showcase its brand simultaneously on other digital platforms and games.

The association spoke Wednesday of a “diversification” of rights. From 2024, FIFA now wants to market its video game in competition with EA. This is why we talk to investors and game providers. Ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, the game offers will hit the market this year. The game with the FIFA name will be “the best for football players and fans,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement.

The FIFA name is the only global and original title and therefore the “constant”. Indeed, “FIFA” has long been used by many as a synonym for video game. Another offer with the association’s blessing could initially be confusing, noted Karol Severin of analyst firm Midia Research. However, EA not only has many years of experience on the technical side, but also has another bargaining chip up its sleeve through licensing deals with national leagues.

It is no coincidence that EA’s statement cites representatives from the European football federation UEFA and various major leagues as saying they will also remain on board for “EA Sports FC”. The duration of these contracts was not disclosed. Undoubtedly, it would be a significant disadvantage to the new “own” FIFA game if it were to start without the guise of players, shirts or logos of major clubs. Without the exclusive deal with EA, FIFA would obviously have more opportunities to play in the vast field of games, according to Severin on Twitter. A game based on the current “FIFA” is just a variant.

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