According to new reports, FIFA and EA Sports have decided to cut ties, which means the popular football video game series will be forced to change its name to EA Sports FC beyond 2022.
Rumours have long indicated that discussions to extend the FIFA license had become strained, but the The New York Times reports that negotiations have now ended with no resolution.
The publication suggests talks broke down after FIFA demanded at least double the $150 million fee that EA Sports have previously paid for the license.
The current deal between the two companies looks set to end after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with EA Sports looking to launch its very last FIFA game during the international tournament.
So while we’ll still likely see the release of FIFA 23 later this year, EA Sports won’t be releasing FIFA 24 in 2023, with the FIFA organisation likely to seek out a new partner instead.
But despite EA Sports reportedly changing the name of its game series to EA Sports FC, it’s not expected to have a huge impact on the actual game. Separate license deals will ensure EA Sports can still retain the rights to the various players, teams and leagues, so you don’t need to worry about the likes of Harry Kane and Liverpool FC disappearing from the game just yet.
It’s also been suggested that EA Sports will actually have more flexibility now it has cut ties with FIFA. The New York Times writes, “EA Sports will look to partner with more companies and brands, creating the potential for direct-to-consumer sales of team jerseys and other products.”
The FIFA game series has generated a lot of money as a live service in recent years, selling the likes of card packs in Ultimate Teams to give players the chance of unlocking new players to join their online team. It’s highly likely that EA Sports will lean even more heavily into this area, although it’s unclear at this point what changes will be made.