EA Sports have made the shock announcement that they are ending their partnership with FIFA: from 2023, the game will be renamed EA Sports FC.
It has been reported by Game Rant that FIFA, the international governing body of world football, had asked for a large increase in its licensing deal with EA Sports and this was one of the considerations behind the decision for the game publisher to go it alone.
Popular in the USA
EA Sports’ FIFA is a popular game in the United States and the video game franchise has had a knock-on effect, with gamers being attracted to the sport after playing the game. EA Sports claims that 50% of gamers in the States become more interested in professional soccer after playing the FIFA video game.
In addition, the popularity of soccer in the USA has increased following the qualification of the national team for the 2022 World Cup, which will take place in Qatar from November 21th to December 18th.
In the World Cup tournament winner odds, Brazil are currently priced as the favorites at +500, with France and England staked as the second favorites at +550, while the USA are priced at +6600. New customers in the US can use this BetMGM NY bonus code to claim a risk-free sportsbook bet on sports such as soccer.
There is likely to be heightened interest in the World Cup in the USA as fans follow the exploits of the USMNT.
EA Sports’ FIFA first appeared in 1993 and 2023 would have been the 30-year anniversary of the partnership. EA Sports partners representing the top soccer leagues around the world, including the English Premier League, and NIKE have released statements expressing their support for the new venture.
Cam Weber, EVP, Group GM EA SPORTS & Racing, was at pains to put the minds of EA Sports fans at rest when he said: “Everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there. Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA SPORTS FC.”
A challenge from FIFA
Also, FIFA has hit back with the news that it intends to release its own game with the FIFA designation, which would see the former partners become bitter rivals. In a statement released on the FIFA website, Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, asserted that only the game with the FIFA name will be the authentic version.
However, any new game would surely struggle to challenge the EA Sports franchise. FIFA 21 sold 325 million games, leaving eFootball, formally known as Pro Evolution Soccer, in its wake.
The announcement that EA Sports will go it alone has surprised gamers, but the franchise remains in a strong position with the support of the top leagues across the world and sponsorship partners such as Nike. Any attempt from FIFA to challenge the dominance of the popular franchise would clearly have a mountain to climb.
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