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FIFA could be making the same mistake as eFootball

EA Sports has revealed it’s considering changing the name for its popular football game series FIFA.

On the EA Sports website, Cam Weber, group general manager of EA Sports, said:

“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games. This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”

While it would make a lot of sense for EA Sports to distance itself from the FIFA branding, it also represents a gamble for the series given the size of its current fan base.

The timing is also interesting, with Konami recently changing the name of PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) to eFootball. However, its launch has arguably not been very successful, with Konami embracing a new free-to-play model and being criticised for not offering enough content on release day.

There was no mention of what EA Sports could change the name to, or whether it will introduce additional changes if it does follow through with the rebrand. A move to a free-to-play model is possible, although FIFA’s Ultimate Team is so profitable that EA Sports will probably refrain from introducing major sweeping changes.

EA Sports revealed (via VG247) that Ultimate Team made $1.62 billion last fiscal year, which is an increase on the revenue it made in 2020.

However, EA Sports has also received criticism for the ‘loot box’ mechanic that allows players to purchase new players for their online team in Ultimate Team. FIFA has seen some slight tweaks, allowing players to occasionally preview the contents of the ‘loot box’ card packs ahead of purchase, but it remains to be seen whether EA Sports plans to make further changes here.

EA Sports recently launched FIFA 22, which we gave a 3.5 out of 5 rating in our review. In the final verdict, we wrote:

“FIFA 22 offers a better game of football than before and a whole load of new features for PS5, Xbox Series consoles and Stadia. Shame it’s let down by countless bugs and a lack of true improvements in many modes.”

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