EA Sports and FIFA Part Ways After Almost 30 Years; What Does This Mean For Fans?
In EA Sports CEO Andrew Wilson’s words, the football governing body seemed to be ‘holding back their ambitions’
Many of us have enjoyed playing FIFA over the years, whether on early consoles back in the 90s and 2000s, or through the cutting-edge online competitive scene of FIFA ‘22.
However, this is all now set to change, after 29 years of spitting out dozens of titles, EA Sports and FIFA failed to reach an agreement regarding an extension of their contract, putting an end to the ‘FIFA’ titled series we’ve played across the decades.
Don’t panic, though. According to the New York Times report, EA’s next soccer franchise is likely to be called EA Sports FC, although we’re sure that fans will continue to call the game ‘FIFA’ after a lifetime of doing so.
Why Did The Agreement Fall Through?
Things seemed perfectly fine for the last 29 years, so what went wrong?
In EA CEO Andrew Wilson’s words, the football governing body seemed to be ‘holding back their ambitions’.
“I’m going to be more open… more open than I’ve been with the outside world,’ Wilson said to VideoGamesChronicle. “We’ve had a great relationship with FIFA over the past 30-odd years. We’ve created billions in value… it’s just huge. We’ve created one of the biggest entertainment properties on the planet.”
Wilson is right. The series has made over $20 billion in sales across the last two decades, and continues to top charts across the world. That said, the CEO did feel that FIFA’s $1.2 billion yearly asking fee for licensing and naming was a bit too much; the previous deal was capped at about 50% of this value.
“I would argue – and this may be a little biased – that the FIFA brand has more meaning as a video game than it does a governing body of soccer. We don’t take that for granted and we try not to be arrogant… basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people don’t even see the box anymore because they buy the game digitally.”
This, of course, means that the FIFA World Cup will no longer be a part of the EA Sports FC franchise, in addition to any other FIFA tournaments.
What Does This Mean For Fans?
Admittedly, while the World Cup going off-table might have upset some fans, most seem to have responded with criticism and memories regarding the franchise and publisher:
I’ve been buying Fifa since the first one was released so I should be disappointed by this but I’m not. EA couldn’t even be bothered to fix the controller button edit problem on 22 so it’s almost a relief to not feel obligated to buy 23— Neil (@neilmarlow4) May 10, 2022
EA Sports FIFA games without Messi covers doesn’t hit the same sadly— RG (@TheGoatStan1) May 10, 2022
EA Sports cheaping out on licenses is gonna hurt them. Already lost some of the Serie A teams— Nick (@nick309912) May 10, 2022
While fans seem concerned about accurate team and player representation, it seems that at least Champions and Premier League clubs will function the same way due to separate licensing deals.
(Featured Image Credits: EA Games)