Update: A press release this morning revealed that EA and FIFPRO renewed their partnership. FIFPRO is the global representative for professional football players, and while this may have no impact on whatever naming convention EA decides to move to with FIFA, it’s notable that the iconic franchise will continue to represent real players globally. The partnership with FIFPRO supports “thousands of player names and likenesses.” Regardless of a name change, EA is striving for authenticity.
Original: A new trademark application could suggest that publisher Electronic Arts is considering changing the name of the FIFA franchise to “EA Sports FC.” The filing comes after EA Sports group GM Cam Weber made a statement on October 7, revealing that the publisher was exploring the possibility of renaming the franchise. Electronic Arts filed the applications via the UK and EU Intellectual Property Offices.
While Weber did not explicitly state that Electronic Arts would change the name of the multi-billion dollar FIFA franchise, he did mention that they were “reviewing [their] naming rights agreement with FIFA”. Furthermore, Weber revealed that—separate from its agreement with FIFA—Electronic Arts also held partnerships and licensing agreements with dozens of other leagues from across the world. This means that were Electronic Arts to cut ties with FIFA, a theoretical EA Sports FC would still be able to use the likeness of popular players and teams (see update above).
Below is a quote from Electronic Arts’ official press release:
Through years of building our global franchise, we also know that authenticity is essential to the experience. That’s why we focus so much energy on the collective strength of over 300 individual licensed partners that give us access to 17,000+ athletes across 700+ teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world. We continually invest in the partnerships and licenses that are most meaningful to players, and because of that, our game is the only place you can authentically play in the iconic UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONMEBOL Libertadores, Premier League, Bundesliga, and LaLiga Santander, among many others.
As we noted in our official review, FIFA 22 has gotten a fresh coat of paint through the use of next-gen hypermotion technology for athlete animations. However, the latest FIFA title offers little in terms of new features and game improvements. Worse yet, Electronic Arts have been dealing with a thriving black market of illegal FIFA Team Ultimate accounts selling FUT coins for cheap.
The company has also been accused of promoting gambling to children through the game’s lucrative loot box system. An EA executive recently responded to these allegations stating that children should “not be spending money in FIFA full stop.”