After decades of annual releases, microtransactions, and billions in profits, EA and FIFA have gone their separate ways, and now, the video game behemoth’s next soccer game will lose the signature name, too. A statement from EA promises “an exciting new era.”
News of the business shift was first reported today by Kotaku. Their report says while EA can no longer use the name of soccer’s international governing body in its product, the new name is EA Sports FC, and promises are being made nothing else will change for fans of the series.
Here’s what EA has to say about the shift:
“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. Modes like Ultimate Team, Career, Pro Clubs and VOLTA will all remain, alongside licenses to the biggest national leagues including Premier. 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. We’re dedicated to meaningfully reinvesting in the sport, and we’re excited to work with a large and increasing number of partners to expand to new authentic experiences that bring joy.”
The change does not take effect until 2023, 30 years after EA released its first game with FIFA back in 1993. EA and FIFA still have one more project in the works together. The report notes the split came from FIFA wanting more control so it could partner with other companies and EA ultimately not being interested in paying another $1 billion to continue their exclusivity deal further.
Earlier reports from The New York Times in October also noted FIFA was interested in deals with Epic Games and EA wanted to include actual game highlights, arena-style game tournaments, and the NFT or non-fungible token wave in future releases in the series.