EA has officially announced that it will drop the FIFA brand name and rebrand its football titles to EA Sports FC following this year’s release of FIFA 23. The decision comes after EA has been reluctant to pay FIFA the increased fee for the FIFA license.
EA has been developing its football titles under the FIFA license for close to three decades now offering players licensed stadiums, championships, as well as footballers. Though EA says that this will be largely unchanged.
The announcement was made in a press release before EA’s financial briefing where EA Sports executive Cam Weber said the following:
“Everything you love about our games will be part of EA Sports FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and Volta Football will all be there.
Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA Sports FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come.”
Following the press release sponsors offered their support stating that they will continue to stay with EA and the newly-named EA Sports FC. UEFA, Conmebol, Nike, Premier League, LaLiga, and Bundesliga have all shared their support and commitment to EA and the reformed EA Sports FC.
The change has been coming for some time now as EA has been looking at rebranding its football title after FIFA demanded the publisher pay almost double in licensing fees, which would have seen EA forking over $1 billion for each four-year World Cup cycle.
EA first mentioned the rebrand back in October last year as it wanted to explore other opportunities with its football series such as NFTs. Andrew Wilson the CEO of EA also stated that “FIFA is nothing more than four letters on a box” as the football regulator prohibited EA from deviating from its usual formula.
“In a World Cup year, of course, we get access to the World Cup, but in the broader context of global football on an annualised basis, the World Cup is important but it’s not the most important. We have 300 other licences that give us the content that our players engage with the most and the most deeply.”
EA has also confirmed that it will share more details on what to expect from EA Sports FC in 2023.
“Our vision for EA Sports FC is to create the largest and most impactful football club in the world, at the epicenter of football fandom. For nearly 30 years, we’ve been building the world’s biggest football community – with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of athlete partners, and hundreds of leagues, federations, and teams. EA Sports FC will be the club for every one of them, and for football fans everywhere.
We’re thankful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA. The future of global football is very bright, and fandom around the world has never been stronger. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA Sports FC at the heart of the sport, and to bring even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience.”