EA Sports will end its video game partnership with FIFA

Electronic Arts and its subsidiary EA Sports will end a three-decade partnership with FIFA – the governing body of global football – the gaming company announced on Tuesday. Starting next year, the hugely popular FIFA video game franchise will be known as EA SPORTS FC.

“This new independent platform will offer new opportunities – to innovate, create and evolve,” said Cam Weber, EVP and Group GM of EA Sports & Racing, in a statement. “EA SPORTS FC will enable us to deliver that future and beyond… but not before delivering our biggest game ever with our current naming rights partner, FIFA, for another year,” he added.

Thanks to separate licensing deals with global soccer leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States and European soccer’s governing body UEFA, EA will continue to retain most of the team and player likenesses that have made its game so popular.

Electronic Arts (EA)The stock was essentially flat after the news.
FIFA said in a statement that it had granted EA a one-year extension to release the FIFA 23 video game later this year, which will feature the upcoming men’s and women’s World Cups that FIFA is organizing. But the governing body will now look to develop new games with “third-party studios and publishers” over the next two years and are in talks for a “big new” FIFA game in 2024.

“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game bearing the FIFA name will be the best available for players and football fans,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in the statement. “FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26 and so on – the constant is the name FIFA and it will always remain and remain THE BEST.”

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While EA Sports owns several other popular video game sports franchises, including Madden (American football), NHL (hockey), the PGA Tour (golf), and Formula 1 (racing), the company says FIFA is by far its biggest moneymaker is.

“FIFA is our biggest and most popular game and franchise,” the company said in last year’s annual report. “Revenue from our FIFA franchise, including the annualized console and PC game, which is consistently one of the best-selling games on the market…is, and will continue to be, essential to our business.”
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According to The New York Times, the FIFA franchise has generated more than $20 billion in revenue over the past two decades. EA declined to comment on the game’s earnings to CNN Business. In its annual report, the company said it had “historically sourced a significant portion of our net revenue” – which totaled nearly $7 billion in the company’s most recent financial year – from FIFA.

In his statement on Tuesday, Weber thanked the “incredible community of more than 150 million fans” for making FIFA the “biggest in the world”. [soccer] entertainment platform.”

The gaming company also announced support for global sports giant Nike on Tuesday.

“We’re excited to continue and expand our long-standing partnership with EA Sports as we serve athletes at the intersection of sports, gaming and culture,” said DJ van Hameren, Nike’s EVP and CMO, in a statement shared by EA. “Our partnership with EA SPORTS FC will authentically expand the way our communities can play and engage with sports.”

– CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

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