Following a security data breach, a ruined Battlefield 2042 game, the company’s loss of Star Wars exclusive rights, and its split with the International Federation of Association Football, also known as FIFA, one would think that things aren’t really playing in EA’s favor. However, that is not entirely the case. Following the announcement of its “uncontested divorce” with FIFA, Electronic Arts has announced the rebranding of its soccer video game genre and has secured a multi-year partnership with one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world.
According to IGN, Juventus, one of the world’s biggest soccer (referred to as football in the rest of the world) clubs, is coming back to EA Sports, starting with the upcoming FIFA game, FIFA 23. This means that we’ll see the Italian side featured in the developer’s final soccer title under the FIFA banner before its partnership with the FIFA organization officially expires at the beginning of 2023. Considering that EA practically owns the game engine, the company announced its plans to rebrand the gaming series as EA Sports FC.
Juventus previously had an exclusive relationship with Konami and the publisher’s Pro Evolution Soccer series for the past three years. Pro Evolution Soccer never matched FIFA in terms of sales, whose licensed teams and player names made the series more realistic and thus more appealing to the gamers. But PES occasionally gave a FIFA series a run for its money, considering how several iterations were regarded as better games than their FIFA contemporaries.
The new deal between EA and Juventus means that the club’s players, stadium, and jerseys will appear in the next EA soccer game. In addition, EA stated that the two sides would work across several lifestyle and cultural initiatives that will bring new opportunities outside the world of football alone, while Juventus praises EA as its next official urban culture partner. This is a piece of very notable news for the future.
As stated above, EA and FIFA have split paths, but neither company is dropping their soccer gaming titles. FIFA already announced that it’s ready to work with third-party developers to launch new, non-sim soccer games, some of which are already in development with a planned release in Q3 2022. EA stated high price tags and creative limitations imposed by FIFA as reasons for the split. FIFA, on the other hand, only stated that it wants its wide range of future products to reach all gamers, members, and fans, which could indicate the development of a new metaverse.
And no, we’re not kidding either; the company has applied for World Cup Metaverse Trademarks, which indicates the creation and implementation of digital content. EA, on the other hand, has revealed that a massive number of the world’s top clubs and leagues choose to remain with the company and its future series, including Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and UEFA team licenses. EA showed off FIFA 23 recently, and for the first time, while also revealing a renewed focus on women’s soccer — a continuous effort to include more women in gaming. Apparently, Rockstar Games isn’t alone on this front.