With FIFA 14 just a matter of months away from launch, publisher EA has extended its partnership with football’s world governing body, committing to produce the officially licensed FIFA game until 2022.
A deal that means FIFA 23 will be an EA published title, the contract extension comes 20 years after EA first joined forced with FIFA and on the same day that footballing icon and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson rocked Twitter with news of his retirement.
With EA suggesting that more than 65 million games of FIFA are played each and every week, the extended partnership will see EA hold the rights to all FIFA-branded action and managerial video games, including the official World Cup tie-ins, until December 31, 2022.
"EA Sports released the first FIFA-branded soccer game in 1993, and 20 years later our partnership with FIFA continues to be very strong,” Andrew Wilson, Head of EA Sports said.
"Our franchise has become the benchmark for quality and innovation in the sports videogame genre, and we look forward to many more years of connecting with consumers around the world with our games carrying the prestigious FIFA name."
Following last month’s official FIFA 14 unveiling, a selection of retailers have suggested that a FIFA 14 release date will be held on October 4, slightly later than usual. With EA suggesting that last year’s FIFA 13 offering has sold more than 14.5 million units to date, the company revealed that as well as coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, “additional formats” for the FFIA 14 launch will be announced shortly, hinting at PS4 and new Xbox offerings.
Speaking on the partnership extension, FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke added: "Our relationship with EA Sports is of high importance to FIFA. The FIFA videogames are a key experiential component in our work to communicate the FIFA brand and its values all over the world."
While FIFA 14 will be atop many a gamer’s hit list for the coming months, there are plenty more titles to watch out for on the best games of 2013 list.