Electronic Arts is considering renaming its FIFA games to EA Sports FC for a good reason…
FIFA and Electronic Arts has had an exclusive license agreement for nearly three decades. Still, now, the football video game market might flip even more (as Konami has also pulled a significant change this year: its paid Pro Evolution Soccer series were changed to a free-to-play title called eFootball, which launched in a poor state), as the license holder doesn’t want the two-letter publisher to hold exclusivity over FIFA anymore.
The football federation laid out a change in strategy, saying it plans “to widen [its] gaming and eSports portfolio.” Let’s hear FIFA’s thoughts: “FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and eSports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights. Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments.” Dejavu! Electronic Arts also lost its exclusive Star Wars license this year when LucasFilm Games announced that they had given the IP rights to several companies, including Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft!
FIFA said it’s working with several developers, investors, and analysts to devise a long-term strategy in gaming and eSports. “Gaming and eSports are the fastest-growing media verticals on the planet, with new and diverse types of games launching continuously. It is therefore of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans,” FIFA added, saying it would use the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup events “to launch and integrate” new FIFA games and eSports competitions.
Electronic Arts’ current FIFA deal runs through 2022, which is why the publisher wants to possibly rebrand its annual football game to EA Sports FC, in which FUT would no longer mean FIFA Ultimate Team but Football Ultimate Team. The publisher, led by Andrew Wilson, is unlikely to pay one billion dollars per four-year World Cup cycle to extend the arrangement.