The publisher, led by Andrew Wilson, says it is unlikely to see a significant drop in player numbers if its annual football game is no longer called FIFA starting next year.
It is increasingly likely that FIFA 23 will cease to exist. EA Sports F.C. 23 will have to be the name of Electronic Arts’ football game, as the publisher inexplicably (EA is making a killing through Ultimate Team; and yet it refused to pay the licensing fees that prevented DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront III from being made, we wrote about it the other day) does not want to strive for the rights to the FIFA name. The football governing body has stressed that they do not want a monopoly on the licence.
David Jackson of Electronic Arts told the Financial Times, “We are not certain that we will move forward with FIFA as a naming rights partner. The name FIFA lives in the minds of many young players worldwide, but the series has lots and lots of players, and we don’t see a reason why that would change in the future. We’re not naive, things can change, but we don’t foresee major risks so long as we continue to meet players’ expectations in terms of the value of the entertainment they receive from the products we build.”
Electronic Arts hasn’t put that much effort into FIFA lately, nor into its sports games altogether, as the publisher is more concerned with the microtransaction-packed Ultimate Team; let’s not forget that FIFA 22 on PC is still the previous-gen release, so the publisher doesn’t seem to keen on caring about PC players, while they’ve already revamped the PlayStation 5/Xbox Series pair for FIFA 21. Last year’s update-absence on PC is understandable, but they have no excuse for this year. EA has shown how careless of a company it is.
Not many players are happy with Madden NFL either, but as long as there is profit, Electronic Arts will not change.