After FIFA 23’s release later this year, EA will begin a new era in July 2023 with the introduction of the EA Sports FC series, the game publisher announced last week.
Despite losing the FIFA brand, the company insists that its games will not change that much. Thanks to over 300 licensing deals, “the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes” will be included in EA Sports FC, it said.
FIFA has confirmed it will launch a rival game to Electronic Arts’ newly announced EA Sports FC after the pair confirmed they would split after nearly 30 years. FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, which revealed an ambitious plan to produce multiple FIFA-branded video games with various developers and publishers mere hours after its erstwhile licensing partner, Electronic Arts, announced that it was ending its relationship with FIFA.
Until now, FIFA had maintained an exclusive licensing agreement with EA for both simulation and nonsimulation titles, which meant that nobody but EA could make soccer video games with the FIFA name and logos. That deal was set to expire this year, but the parties have signed a “short-term extension,” according to FIFA, under which FIFA 23 will be the last EA game to carry FIFA branding. EA’s soccer franchise, which debuted in 1993 with FIFA International Soccer on Sega Genesis, will be retitled EA Sports FC as of July 2023.
EA Sports insists that despite losing the FIFA brand, its games will not change that much. Thanks to over 300 licensing deals, “the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes” will be included in EA Sports FC, it said.
In its own statement, FIFA said that the split from EA would allow it to launch new football video games developed with third-party studios and publishers, “providing more choice for football and gaming fans” in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.
When it is released this fall, FIFA 23 will — for the first time — not be the only FIFA-branded soccer video game on the market, although it will remain the only FIFA-branded simulation game. The extension mentioned above between FIFA and EA “grants rights for the simulation football category only, freeing up broader gaming rights for FIFA and different gaming publishers to launch new games and more deeply immersive experiences for fans and football stakeholders,” said FIFA.
In a strongly-worded statement, FIFA president Gianni Infantino insisted that only games carrying its official license would be credible to football fans.
“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,” he said.
“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.”