One of the world’s most famous video game franchises is set to undergo a massive change starting 2023, with Electronic Arts and its subsidiary EA Sports announcing on 10 May that they are parting ways with FIFA.
Although EA will continue making its much-loved football games, these will no longer bear the ‘FIFA’ mark. The new game series will be known simply as EA Sports FC.
Here’s more about the end of EA Sports-FIFA partnership and the future of football gaming
From EA Sports FIFA to EA SPORTS FC
Cam Weber, EVP, Group GM, EA Sports & Racing, said in a statement, “After nearly 30 years of creating genre-defining interactive football experiences, we will soon begin an exciting new era.”
“This new independent platform will bring fresh opportunity — to innovate, create and evolve. This is much more than just a change of symbol — as EA SPORTS, we’re committed to ensuring EA SPORTS FC is a symbol of change,” Weber added.
The first EA Sports FIFA game was released in 1993. Over the decades, it became one of the biggest-ever gaming franchises with, as Weber said, “more than 150 million fans” around the world.
Impact on the game
Though the FIFA label will no longer be part of the EA Sports football games, the gameplay and the overall experience itself won’t be affected much. This is because EA has separate license agreements with football leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States and the European soccer association UEFA. There are 300+ license partners across the sport, as Weber underlined.
It means that teams and player likeness — one of the most significant USPs of the games — will remain as they are.
“Everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC — the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there,” said Weber.
FIFA to release its own football game franchise
Meanwhile, FIFA itself is planning a separate gaming franchise.
The governing body of football is now seeking “third party studios and publishers” to develop new games. A “major new” FIFA game is scheduled for release in 2024.
“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,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement.
“FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on — the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST,” Infantino added.
(Main and Featured images: Courtesy of EA SPORTS FIFA/@EASPORTSFIFA/Twitter)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India