Rising costs for the FIFA license leads to a chance in the long running franchise, where publisher Electronic Arts are dropping its name and license.
Electronic Arts announced that the FIFA game releasing later in the Fall this year will be the last under the FIFA name. The partnership between the game developer and FIFA, the international body for football (soccer for us Americans), has ended after its start way back in 1993.
This news isn’t a shock after reports of EA reviewing their naming rights with the organization. There were arguments with both sides on where to take the gaming franchise into the future.
The biggest part of this news would also come from FIFA demanding $1 billion over four years from EA to continue the naming rights agreement. This would be double the fee as it was before the end of this partnership.
It’s obvious now that EA wasn’t willing to spend that kind of cash, despite the large revenue that their FIFA games have brought in. So with the end of their partnership after the release of FIFA 22, the franchise will be moving forward as EA Sports FC beginning in 2023.
Here is a short overview of their announcement (via EA):
Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) announced its world-famous football games will move forward under a new EA SPORTS FC™ brand in 2023. The move will enable EA to deliver the world’s biggest interactive sports experience for its growing community in collaboration with 300+ partners across the world of football.
EA SPORTS FC will be the platform for EA to innovate, create, and grow new experiences. It will bring more areas of the sport to life, and harness the collective strength of more than 150 million players across EA SPORTS’ global football games – and reach hundreds of millions of new fans in the years to come.
“Our vision for EA SPORTS FC is to create the largest and most impactful football club in the world, at the epicenter of football fandom,” said Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson. “For nearly 30 years, we’ve been building the world’s biggest football community – with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of athlete partners, and hundreds of leagues, federations, and teams. EA SPORTS FC will be the club for every one of them, and for football fans everywhere.”
EA SPORTS FC brings the strength of more than 300 individual licensed partners, giving players access to more than 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world. Through EA SPORTS FC, EA will further grow the reach and power of its football licensing portfolio by retaining and expanding the licensed football content, scaling to new experiences, and increasing access through more platforms. EA will also build on a foundation of inclusivity and innovate in new areas around both women’s and grassroots football for the global community.
The introduction of EA SPORTS FC will not impact any current EA SPORTS global football games, and EA and FIFA are excited to deliver the greatest, most expansive EA SPORTS™ FIFAever later this fall. Our final FIFAproduct will also include more game modes, features, teams, leagues, players, and competitions than any previous edition. Fans will be able to experience these innovations across the full EA SPORTS FIFA ecosystem including FIFA Mobile, FIFA Online 4, and eSports.(cont.)
It will be interesting to see how the popular franchise, which has sold over 325 million copies as of the end of last year, will go moving forward. Even without the FIFA license, they do have other partnerships lined up that will hopefully provide their fans with solid content.