It’s clear that EA Sports sees the end of its association with FIFA as huge opportunity, rather than a loss that threatens the future of its annual cash cow football game.
That much is evidenced by a new deal the gaming giant has signed with LaLiga in Spain, where Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid ply their trade on a weekly basis.
The so-called “a one of a kind, multi-year partnership” will cost EA Sports a reported 30 million Euros per year and goes well beyond the rights to feature the competition within its games.
In an announcement, EA says the deal will commence in time for the 2023/2024 season, which is right around the time the first EA Sports FC game will launch.
The deal “will include title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions, a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA SPORTS including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.”
More details of the partnership will be announced in the future, with Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA SPORTS FC promising there’ll be game development improvements “further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”
We won’t get our first look at EA Sports FC until next summer though. FIFA 23, the last game in the 30-year partnership between the world governing body and the publisher, is scheduled to launch this autumn. FIFA 23 will also have women’s club football teams from England and France, while the Italian giants Juventus are also returning to the game as a licenced team.
As Eurogamer points out, EA had complained that its relationship with FIFA had prevented it making intuitive and exciting partnerships like this. So, the terrible EA Sports FC name aside, it seems as if the company is setting itself up for success once the FIFA name goes away.