The gaming world was rocked yesterday when it had been officially announced that FIFA and EA would be ending their nearly 30-year relationship with one another. The news send shockwaves through the sports and gaming world, as EA announced that their soccer titles would move forward after this year. The newly crowned soccer game would be rebranded as EA Sports FC, starting in 2023. Now it appears as if FIFA has detailed its own gaming plans after the historic breakup.
FIFA has announced that the soccer collective will be making its own titles. The soccer collective has a special licensing agreement that no one could make a simulation or nonsimulation soccer game while using any of the FIFA name or branding, however, now the company has announced it will continue with using multiple publishers and developers. The plan is to release the first game that will follow the 2022 World Cup, which is meant to be hosted in Qatar from November to December. The next will be another Women’s World Cup-focused title in 2023. That tournament will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 2023. Both these tournaments will appear in the final FIFA and EA collaboration, FIFA 2023, which comes out this fall.
It’s kind of strange that FIFA will be attempting its first solo games on top of the final licensing agreement between EA for FIFA 2023. Double-dipping in the World Cup Content for two separate games might not go over well for the soccer collective. They did speak about nonsimulation games, and that will be the focus for the company in 2024 after these supposed World Cup titles come into play. They claim to already be in contact with leading game publishers, media companies, and investors for these new titles. However. making a soccer game in a short two years that will stand up to EA is going to be a lofty goal. The only other soccer game that attempted this was Konami’s eFootball, which was not well-received by anyone. FIFA might be in some trouble when it comes to keeping pace with the biggest sports games publisher in the world.
There had been some hope that EA and FIFA could have hashed out their differences and come to an agreement to keep their licensing deal alive, but this seems to speak volumes about the breakup. FIFA had initially wanted to charge EA some $1 billion dollars every four years to use its name and EA reluctantly chose to break off the long-standing partnership. Clearly, EA realizes the value of its name is far more valuable than FIFA.
FIFA certainly has its work cut out for it, as they now must essentially start over from scratch in the gaming world. They presumably don’t have as much access to loads of content that EA has cultivated throughout these past 30 years. EA is essentially the sports game one-stop-shop. Hats off to FIFA for trudging forward though. Only time will tell what sort of games FIFA plans to release. The world will see when the World Cup happens this fall.