Fifa game series is OVER as sports giant ends deal with EA in bitter row
EA SPORTS is discontinuing popular soccer game franchise Fifa.
Fifa 23 will the the final edition of the game, after licensing disagreements with soccer’s world governing body.
EA Sports cited the expensive licensing agreements and strategy pivots as reasons for moving on from their agreement with Fifa.
Instead, EA will launch a new soccer video game franchise under the name EA Sports FC.
Fifa had reportedly demanded double the $150million annual fee they collect from EA to renew the contract, according to The New York Times.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson found the cash demands untenable, and once said Fifa offers little other than “four letters on the front of the box.”
The new game franchise will still feature most top soccer teams, leagues, stadiums and players, as EA Sports has separate licensing agreements with them.
However the Fifa-run World Cup will be written out of the content.
Ditching Fifa will allow EA to introduce live event streaming and other in-world events that have been popularized by sandbox-style games like Fortnite.
“In the future our players will demand of us the ability to be more expansive in that offering. At the moment, we engage in play as a primary form of interactive experience. Soon, watching and creating content are going to be equally as important for fans,” EA Sports executive David Jackson told BBC.
The eSports and professional gaming space are sure to be affected – the EA Fifa eSports league holds an annual World Cup championship with a $200,000 dollar prize.
Meanwhile, Fifa will look for a new game developer to bring their product to gamers – which will be a challenge given the English Premier League and Champion’s League have contractual obligations to EA Sports.
Branding partners are also sticking with EA Sports amid the tumultuous end of the Fifa era.
A representative from Nike said “Our partnership with EA SPORTS FC will authentically grow the ways our communities can play and engage with sport,” in an EA Sports announcement.
Richard McMasters, the Premier League Chief Executive, said “EA SPORTS is a long-term and valued partner of the Premier League, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the new era of EA SPORTS FC.”