There have been glaring problems in the partnership between EA Sports and FIFA for a long time, and now both are officially going their separate ways. This also means that FIFA 23 will be EA’s last game with the rights to the name, the series will be called EA Sports FC. In at least one thing the fans can be reassured, because the existing exclusive partnerships should continue to be part of the football series.
EA and FIFA separate, leaving EA Sports FC
It has been clear for some time that EA Sports and FIFA likely weren’t going to extend their exclusive deal. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that FIFA prefers to distribute its licenses to different cooperation partners, but probably also to the annoyance of EA, who would have to pay a huge amount to continue using the naming rights.
Now both have concluded the partnership between them and FIFA 23 will be the last game in the series with the old name. After that, however, the football simulation should not end, rather it will continue under the new name EA Sports FC, as EA announces in a blog post.
What does this mean for licensing?
While the games may no longer be called “FIFA” in the future, the series will retain many of its licenses, including exclusive partnerships with the Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and MLS:
Everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC – there will be the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Club and VOLTA Football will be included. Our unique range of licenses with over 19,000 players, over 700 teams, over 100 stadiums and 30 leagues that we have invested in for decades will continue to exist
So it looks like not much will change for fans of the FIFA series for the time being, only that the games will get a makeover.
EA Sports FC aims to bring about change
But not everything should remain the same. In the blog post, EA promises to use the independence of the series to become more innovative and creative. This doesn’t seem surprising, after all, EA has complained in the past that FIFA is responsible for the slow development of the series. Whether the separation from FIFA will truly lead to an evolution of the game series remains to be seen. We’ll know more by summer 2023 at the latest, when EA wants to share more details on the new game.
But before that happens, FIFA 23 will be released this year. After all, according to EA, it should end with a bang and this year’s offshoot will be “the best FIFA of all time”.
What do you think, are you interested in the name of the game or are you attached to licenses?