After months of speculation, EA finally announced that FIFA 23 will be the last game in the series to feature FIFA branding on the cover, renaming as EA Sports FC going forward. Bosses at the publisher have shed some more light on what led them to the decision.
On May 10, the news was officially confirmed that EA are parting ways with the FIFA license after FIFA 23, branding they have held for the better part of 30 years.
From 2023 onwards, the hugely successful football series will be called EA Sports FC. While fans will have to adjust to name change, the various licensed leagues, players, and modes are expected to remain untouched.
In the wake of such a major announcement, EA bosses have explained to fans why they took the decision to rebrand after nearly three decades.
EA CEO on EA Sports FC rebrand
In an earnings call reported on by IGN, EA CEO Andrew Wilson elaborated on why EA chose to give up the FIFA license, saying it was done in the name of “being able to deliver experiences that [their] players wanted.”
“They told us they wanted more modalities of play. They told us they wanted to see more commercial partners in the game that are representative and authentic to the broad global world of football,” said Wilson. “They’re telling us they want us to move beyond just the core experience and really build out this digital football experience.”
Wilson went on to explain that by separating from FIFA, they can tailor the game’s experience to football fans from around the world, whether they follow the Premier League, Bundesliga, or LaLiga.
“What we’re focused on right now is building very unique experiences for each of those fans in each of those markets,” he added.
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In an interview with the BBC, EA Sports Vice President David Jackson revealed that ending their deal with FIFA wasn’t just about naming rights. Certain constraints had been in place, preventing them from introducing ways of watching and creating content in-game.
“Under the licensing conventions that we had agreed with Fifa 10 years ago, there were some restrictions that weren’t going to allow us to be able to build those experiences for players,” Jackson said.
The price was another key factor behind the decision. Past reports have suggested that using the FIFA name cost over $1 billion for every four-year World Cup cycle.
“Money plays a critical role in most negotiations, but the reason we are doing this is to create the very best experiences we can for both players and partners,” Jackson continued. “As part of that, you consider whether or not your investment in one place is better or worse than an investment in another.”
While fans still have another installment with the FIFA license to enjoy, more details on the future with EA Sports FC are set to be revealed in the coming months.