The FIFA football video game series, which has been called this for almost 30 years, is changing its name. From 2023, it will be called EA SPORTS FC. The American publisher Electronic Arts, which has therefore made it simple by taking over the name of its subsidiary EA Sports, formalized this change on Tuesday, which has been anticipated for several months.
This decision is the consequence of the non-renewal of the license granted by FIFA to Electronic Arts. The current contract, signed in 2013, expires in December 2022. According to the American press, the governing body of world football received 85 M€ per year in exchange for the exploitation of its brand.
The best-selling cultural property in France
« We are grateful for our many years of excellent partnership with FIFA, » said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, in a press release. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA SPORTS FC at the heart of the sport and deliver even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience.”
The revolution stops at the name for now, or so Electronic Arts promises, claiming that there will be “no impact” on games. Even if the FIFA license is not renewed, users will still be able to enjoy the real names of the 700 teams and 19,000 footballers included in the database, but also the authentic dressing of many European competitions (UEFA) and South- American (Conmebol) such as the Champions League, the Europa League and the Copa Libertadores.
Shortly after Electronic Arts’ announcement, several clubs took to social media to ensure their presence in the game, such as PSG and Real Madrid. In addition, partnerships with the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A are confirmed.
The FIFA game has established itself as the best-selling cultural asset in France. In 2020, at least 1.3 million copies of FIFA 21 were sold in France. Globally, the numbers are just as important. Just a week after the launch of FIFA 22, the franchise’s latest game, Electronic Arts claimed 9.1 million players.