Japan’s J-League is reportedly being removed in FIFA 23 after the league’s organizing body and EA SPORTS agreed to end their partnership, although it could return in the future.
The J-League (also known as the Meiji Yasuda J1 League) is the top level of the Japan Professional Football League and one of the most successful leagues in Asia. It’s been included in FIFA titles for more than six years.
However, that’s seemingly changing in FIFA 23, the last iteration that will bear the FIFA name before it changes to EA SPORTS FC. The J-League’s teams, players, kits, and badges will no longer be available in any modes, according to a new report.
Witcher, an insider who is a reliable source for information on FIFA titles, dropped the news on social media.
“After six years, J-League and EA SPORTS end the partnership. FIFA 23 will not feature the league,” he said.
It’s led to some speculation that the J-League has struck a licensing deal with Konami’s eFootball 2023, the spiritual successor to the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) franchise. However, that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
It’s a turbulent time for FIFA players. Not only do they fear other teams and leagues will pull out of licensing partnerships, but they’re also still coming to terms with the fact that the game is being rebranded.
However, the developers assured fans that “everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC” and claimed to have licenses for more than 19,000 players, 700 teams, 100 stadiums, and 30 leagues.