Electronic Arts has formalized the name change of its famous football game FIFA by removing the brand from the international federation to be called EA SPORTS FC. A strategy justified by the desire to expand the American brand, which felt too cramped by being attached to the famous four letters.
The end of a long and fruitful marriage. Electronic Arts on Tuesday formalized the name change of its famous FIFA video game. Gone is the four-letter acronym representing the supreme international body of football, place at EA SPORTS FC from 2023. The change had been in the pipeline for several months and will therefore be active when the contract between the two parties expires. until December 2022. This will therefore have made a long relationship of 29 years. The price demanded by Fifa to continue to use its name (between 1.5 and 2 billion euros over ten years depending on the sources) was considered too high by EA, which wanted to broaden its field of action.
EA Sports chairman Andrew Wilson reportedly felt that being associated with the FIFA brand restricted his development strategy. He had informed his employees during a meeting last November, the content of which had been revealed by the VideoGamesChronicle site in February. “I’m going to be more open…more open than I have been with the outside world,” Wilson reportedly said. “We’ve had a great relationship with FIFA over the past 30 years. We’ve created billions of value…c “is just huge. We’ve created one of the biggest entertainment properties on the planet.”
“What we get from FIFA are the four letters on the box”
“I would say – and it may be a bit biased – that the FIFA brand makes more sense as a video game than as the governing body of football,” he reportedly added. “We don’t take that for granted and we try not to be arrogant…basically what we get from FIFA in a year without the World Cup is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people don’t even see no longer the box because they’re buying the game online. As we look to the future, we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA license has actually been a hindrance to that.”
Wilson then indicated that he wanted to focus more on the expectations of his users. “Our players want us to expand more broadly into the digital ecosystem,” he reportedly continued. “Our fans tell us they want us to participate in that space. Due to the nature of approval timelines and various things around our FIFA license it has been very difficult and we are moving much slower than we would like.” The breakup was finally consummated a few weeks later.
EA’s current partnership with FIFA had been extended to cover next year’s Women’s World Cup. FIFA 23 will be the franchise’s last game to be released. EA then plans to launch EA Sports FC in 2023, a form of interactive gaming in collaboration with more than 300 partners across the football world.
The broadcast of real matches offered to users?
Several clubs and players posted messages on their social networks on Tuesday confirming their presence in the new version of the game. According to the BBC, it will probably offer players the possibility to watch real matches, experience in-game events like Fortnite and to offer users a wider range of in-game branded items. But major FIFA events like the World Cup will not be included.
“The world of football and the world of entertainment are changing and they are in opposition within our product, David Jackson, vice-president of EA Sports, told the BBC. In the future, our players will demand from us the ability to be more expansive in this offering. At this time, we are engaging with gaming as a primary form of interactive experience. Soon, watching and creating content will be equally important to fans. Under conventions license agreement that we agreed with FIFA 10 years ago, there were restrictions that did not allow us to create these experiences for players.”