EA And FIFA End Partnership After 28 Years

It's been a long time coming, but EA has finally confirmed the rumors that have been swirling for months. After FIFA 23, the FIFA series will end and be rebranded as EA Sports FC, ending the franchise after 28 years.

We first found out there might be trouble between Electronic Arts and FIFA last October after FIFA hinted that it would end its exclusive licensing agreement with EA. At the time, FIFA said it would “adopt a new commercial positioning in gaming and eSports,” which came soon after reports emerged that FIFA was asking EA for $1 billion to extend its licensing agreement for another four years.

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EA seemed to balk at the price tag, with CEO Andrew Wilson saying that FIFA was “impeding” its ambitions. Other executives implied that the FIFA franchise was likely for a rebranding, with industry insider Jeff Grubb revealing “EA Sports FC” as the leading contender for the new name.

Today, executive vice president of EA Sports and Racing Cam Weber confirmed that FIFA and EA were ending their exclusive licensing deal after FIFA 23. Starting in 2024, the FIFA series will be rebranded as EA Sports Football Club, or FC for short.

"After nearly 30 years of creating genre-defining interactive football experiences, we will soon begin an exciting new era," said Weber. "Next year, EA SPORTS FC will become the future of football from EA SPORTS. Alongside our 300+ license partners across the sport, we’re ready to take global football experiences to new heights, on behalf of all football fans around the world."

Weber promised that EA Sports FC would have the same "modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs, and athletes" as the FIFA series, including "Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and VOLTA Football." As rumored, EA seems to be making license deals with individual football clubs and organizations, building a portfolio that includes "19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums, and 30 leagues."

FIFA 23 will be the "most expansive game ever," with "more features, game modes, World Cup content, clubs, leagues, competitions, and players than any FIFA title before." After that, FIFA will presumably begin exploring license deals with other developers.

In the meantime, FIFA 22 is set to begin crossplay testing soon, which could hint at one of the features still to come in FIFA 23.

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