FIFA And EA Break Up, Announce Competing Soccer Games
After months of “will they” and “won’t they” speculation, it appears game publisher EA and global soccer entity FIFA are officially parting ways following the duo’s near-30-year partnership. Celebrating the start of “a new era,” EA Sports executive vice president and group GM Cam Weber announced that after this year’s release of FIFA 23, all future offerings will be completely devoid of FIFA branding, releasing under the revised name of EA Sports FC.
For the 2024 season, EA Sports FC is planned to carry over the same experience of current EA soccer games, simply sans the FIFA name. Bringing back all the same “modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs, and athletes,” FC will also carry forward all signature modes – Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and VOLTA Football – as well as EA’s “unique licensing portfolio” amassing over “19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums, and 30 leagues.” These are said to include exclusive deals with Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS, and “more to come.”
Weber called the game an opportunity to “innovate, create and evolve” the soccer game formula, amounting the project to a “symbol of change.” More about the plans for EA Sports FC is expected to be revealed sometime in Summer 2023. In the meantime, EA’s next annual soccer title, FIFA 23, was nonetheless assured to be the series’ “best ever,” with the experience packing both Men’s and Women’s competitions, on top of “more features, game modes, World Cup content, clubs, leagues, competitions, and players than any FIFA title before.”
FIFA itself had similar sentiments regarding FIFA 23 but was also looking beyond its partnership with EA. Hoping to offer “more choice for football and gaming fans,” the organization announced plans for multiple soccer games involving new “third-party studios and publishers.” As its updated deal with EA follows a non-exclusive licensing model, this would open up the FIFA brand to “a range of partners” dedicated to producing non-simulation-style games as well as “more deeply immersive experiences for fans and football stakeholders.”
For months, FIFA and EA have been heavily rumored on the outs, with EA firing the first shot upon the launch of FIFA 22 last October. In a low-key portion of a press release, the company revealed it was “exploring the idea” of moving on from the soccer brand, with FIFA themselves expressing similar feelings in a statement soon after. According to a New York Times report, the two companies’ dispute is largely over FIFA licensing fees, which reportedly surpassed $1 billion USD during this year’s World Cup cycle.
What do you think? Are you surprised to see FIFA and EA split up? Do you think EA Sports FC can match up to the success of the FIFA series? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.