After almost 30 years, the longes video game & sports partnership is over.
The current deal, which was to end after this year’s World Cup in Qatar, has been adjusted to run through to the Women’s World Cup next summer. Once that tournament is over, the company said, 150 million FIFA video game players will have to get used to a new name for the series: EA Sports FC.
The first FIFA video game came out on 1993 from EA Sports partnering with FIFA. The latest edition out is FIFA 22 released on 27 September 2021.
The most recent EA Sports-FIFA deal was signed 10 years ago, but the intervening years had been marked not only by great technological change but arguably even greater upheaval at FIFA, which almost collapsed after a major corruption scandal in 2015. Infantino, since taking office that year, has tried — and often failed — to unlock new revenue streams.
Gianni Infantino, the President of Fifa says in the statement:”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.”Source: BBC.com
“The constant is the Fifa name and it will remain forever and remain the best.”
EA Sports seem confident that their approach is right: “Change is always going to be concerning for people at first,” says David Jackson.
“In terms of things that they’ll miss, players will notice only two things: The name and a World Cup piece of content every four years. Outside of that, very little will change about the things they know, and love about the current Fifa products.
“Probably the easiest thing that we could have done would have been to maintain the status quo. Fifa has been an incredibly successful game over time, but there are moments when you need to consider what the future looks like and we feel like building our own brand is the best for us.”
As FIFA seeks a new partner, many of those licenses will limit what it can do. For instance, the world’s two biggest club competition England’s Premier League and European soccer’s elite Champions League, will be available only to players of EA Sports FC.