The FIFA series is ending after 30 years. EA confirmed that it’ll be rebranding its premier soccer game to EA Sports FC starting in 2023. That means FIFA 23 will be the last entry to carry that title. EA execs have been quoted saying that the FIFA brand might be holding the series back due to the baggage that comes with it. So, it’s not surprising that it’s finally axing the association.
However, the FIFA name will be returning to a video game in the future. After the news broke that EA wouldn’t be renewing its licensing agreement, FIFA stated it was investigating working with another developer to create “the only authentic, real game.”
EA renames FIFA series to EA Sports FC
EA has been reviewing its FIFA licensing since last year, and it seems like the company has decided that it wasn’t worth it. According to the New York Times, FIFA was looking to double licensing fees to $2.5 billion over the next decade. However, while money was a factor, EA says it wasn’t its primary concern.
VGC reported that EA CEO Andrew Wilson made statements in an internal all-hands meeting in November 2021 that alluded to difficulties working with FIFA. For example, certain brands, like Nike, can’t be represented because of FIFA’s association with Adidas, and introducing new play modes is difficult because they have to be approved by FIFA beforehand.
Not to be deterred, FIFA struck back at the announcement that EA was changing the name of the series to EA Sports FC. It said discussions are underway with game publishers, investors, and media companies to develop a new FIFA game for 2024. FIFA president 2021 stated:
I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25, and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the FIFA name, and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.