It seems that the FIFA and EA Games fallout has officially happened as the relationship between the two companies is over. EA Games announced last week that the publisher was looking at ways they could reboot its football video game franchise outside of the FIFA environment. This would allow EA Games to approach hundreds of new football clubs and players who would want to participate in its new project.
EA Games then trademarked the EA Sports FC name which leads us to believe that FIFA 23 is the first game to ditch the FIFA name. With all that done and dusted, the FIFA organization has now spoken out about the situation slamming EA Games for its monopolistic approach to the FIFA video game series. I know right, that’s rich coming from FIFA.
FIFA is now looking at new publishers and game makers who can carry its exclusive football franchise forward. In a statement on the official site, FIFA says that in order for the video game franchise to grow, it needs to be occupied by more than one party controlling all rights to the game. Previously, this was EA Games.
According to FIFA, the organization is now engaged in talks with various industry players, developers, investors and analysts in order to build a new long-term football experience. The organization also claims that it is important to its stakeholders that a FIFA video game continues to be relevant in the industry. The statement reads:
The outcome will ensure that FIFA has a range of suitable parties with specialist capabilities to actively shape the best possible experiences and offerings for fans and consumers.
Gaming and eSports are the fastest-growing media verticals on the planet, with new and diverse types of games launching continuously. It is therefore of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans.
FIFA also has a duty to support its 211 member associations to fully capitalise on the inherent opportunities that have been emerging over the recent years. As part of this strategy, FIFA also commits to continuing to organise skill-based eSports tournaments under the umbrella of the recently launched FIFAe competition structure and consumer brand (www.fifa.gg).
The relationship and affinity that the gaming and eSports market has developed over time with the FIFA name clearly underscore that football-based gaming and the FIFA name are intrinsically intertwined.
So what does this all mean? Well, FIFA is still going to happen in video game form but EA Games won’t be the publisher making it. By the sound of things, the FIFA organization is looking for new developers and publishers to take the helm. Does the industry really need three football video game franchises? You tell me.