According to a recent remark concerning the series’ future, the FIFA organisation may be splitting away from long-time publishing partner EA.
FIFA, the world governing body of professional soccer, recently published a statement indicating that the organisation may terminate ties with long-time video game partner EA. Since 1993, EA has published FIFA games as part of its overall competitive sports games portfolio, including iconic franchises like Madden.
FIFA’s annual releases have been major additions to EA’s broader body of published works in the age of modern gaming, as one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. Even though the FIFA moniker has been associated with EA for decades, a recent trademark registration suggested that the FIFA series be renamed “EA Sports FC.” Because FIFA carries more brand recognition and prestige than competitor franchises like Konami’s eFootball, the decision to perhaps change the franchise’s name implies some substantial changes for the games.
It turns out that the trademark submission could have been a precursor to something far bigger. According to Video Games Chronicle, FIFA’s statement contains some less-than-ambiguous remarks aimed at EA. The future of soccer games “must entail more than one company possessing and exploiting all rights,” according to an excerpt from the declaration. According to the article, other developers in the technology and mobile game industries are vying for a spot in the franchise. The statement did not mention the recently launched FIFA 22, which has been panned for merely making small tweaks to the series’ tried-and-true formula.
It’s unclear what this means for the series’ future, especially because EA may still control the rights to things like digital likenesses of players and stadiums. EA has secured the secondary moniker EA Sports FC. This suggests that the publisher will continue to make soccer games, but with more closely associated with the corporate name. If EA continues to make annual games under this new label, one can expect the creators to use the same engine and assets as prior FIFA games.
The FIFA franchise is no new to criticism, especially when it comes to microtransactions. According to a source indicating that the next FIFA game will be free-to-play, EA will likely double down on the games’ live-service integrations. If EA Sports FC games follow this path, observing how a new branch of non-EA FIFA games handles these more problematic parts will be intriguing.
Source: Video Games Chronicle