FIFA has announced that it will not be renewing its three-decade-long licensing agreement with Electronic Arts for its football simulation video game series which has been, due to the agreement, titled FIFA. One of the most popular video games developed by EA, FIFA was first released in 1993 as FIFA International Soccer.
FIFA’s partnership with EA is one of the longest and most profitable ones in video game history. An extension to the current agreement was signed a decade ago, and it is reported that EA Sports had also made FIFA a ‘substantial offer’ for a period of eight-years, which would have covered the whole of FIFA’s esports and gaming rights. FIFA wanted to double its licensing fee of US$1 billion, but since the current FIFA licence doesn’t include right to any player likeness or competitions aside from the FIFA World Cup, EA considered FIFA’s demands a bit too high.
EA has already announced that its post-FIFA football game will be titled EA Sports FC.
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Andrew Wilson, Chief Executive, Electronic Arts, commented:
“Our vision for EA Sports FC is to create the largest and most impactful football club in the world, at the epicentre of soccer fandom. For nearly 30 years, we’ve been building the world’s biggest soccer community – with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of athlete partners, and hundreds of leagues, federations, and teams. EA Sports FC will be the club for every one of them, and for soccer fans everywhere.
“We’re thankful for our many years of great partnership with Fifa. The future of global soccer is very bright, and fandom around the world has never been stronger.“
EA, though, has been given a short-term extension to its deal and will use that time to work and develop FIFA 23. Post the release of FIFA 23, it is reported that FIFA will be launching a brand-new video game which will be developed by an independent company.
Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, added:
“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans.
“The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain the best.“