Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has announced that its football title will drop the FIFA name after the next installment with an agreement between it and the sport’s governing body.
Months of tense negotiations between EA and the International Football Association Board (FIFA) reportedly ended without an agreement to extend the partnership.
EA said its licensing deals with 19,000 players, 700 teams and more than 30 leagues from around the world will remain in place.
The contract with UEFA also remains in place, so the Champions League will continue to be part of the game’s show even if the World Cup does not take place.
EA indicated months ago that the relationship would be ending. The company’s current contract was set to expire after the World Cup in Qatar as the FIFA seeks to increase revenue and push EA to expand the FIFA brand into new areas such as non-fungible tokens and real-time gaming highlights.
FIFA was aiming to double at least the $150m (£121m) it receives annually from EA Sports, its biggest trading partner. Reuters The report said, adding, that there are different expectations about what should be included in the new deal.
The two sides agreed to continue their partnership until next summer’s Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Fans of the beautiful game will still be able to play: EA will continue its popular titles under the “EA Sports FC” banner from 2023.
It also says that the new series will offer a wider range of experiences than the FIFA series and will include “working with more than 300 partners from all over the world of football”, including the English Premier League, the Spanish League and UEFA. It is possible that they include some of the major clubs themselves.
“The world of football and the world of entertainment are changing and colliding in our product,” David Jackson, vice president of EA Sports, told the BBC.
“In the future, our players will ask us to expand this offering even further. For now, we are looking at gaming as the primary form of interactive experience.
“Soon, watching and creating content will be just as important to fans.
He added that the new agreement would allow the company to build a “brand of the future”.
This also means that EA can sign its own branding agreements with other clubs, players or companies and retain official licenses that allow it to replicate real teams, unlike competing titles like Pro Evolution Soccer.
FIFA has announced that it will launch new football video games developed with third-party studios and publishers to offer more options to football and gaming fans. She said a number of “non-simulated games are already in production” and will be launched later this year.
EA Sports released the first Fifa-branded video game in 1993 and have been responsible for the popular franchise ever since. The soccer video game has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s best-selling sports video game, with over 300 million copies sold worldwide.
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media ninja. Unapologetic web guru. Friendly music fan. Alcohol fanatic.”