After 30 years of games, EA Sports has officially ended their collaboration with FIFA.

FIFA plans to collaborate with other developers to create "the only authentic, real game."

After 30 years of games, EA Sports has officially ended their collaboration with FIFA.

EA Sports stated today that the soccer game it will release in 2023 would be part of the new EA Sports FC brand, replacing the FIFA name it has used since the Sega Genesis and Super NES days. The news represents a big break for one of the longest-running and most popular video game franchises ever.

"We’re thankful for our many years of a great partnership with FIFA," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement. "The future of global football is very bright, and fandom around the world has never been stronger. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA Sports FC at the heart of the sport, and to bring even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience."

"More than 300 individual licensed partners, giving players access to more than 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world." according to EA's next FIFA-less soccer game. Major worldwide leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, UEFA, CONMEBOL, and others are among the partners.

Apart from the name on the cover, the newly branded game will also be devoid of any official references to FIFA's quadrennial international championship. From 1998 to 2014, EA worked with FIFA to offer unique branded FIFA World Cup titles every four years, as well as a separate World Cup mode in its profitable Ultimate Team digital card game. In FIFA 18, such integration was enhanced to include a broader World Cup update.

According to reports, FIFA 23, which will be released later this year as EA's final game with the FIFA license, will expand the World Cup mode and, for the first time in franchise history, will include the Women's World Cup. "Our final FIFA product will also include more game modes, features, teams, leagues, players, and competitions than any previous edition," EA said.

The split between EA and FIFA was not unexpected. Last October, the gaming behemoth publicly stated that it was "reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA" due to reports of disagreements over exclusivity and licensing costs. According to a February report, Wilson told EA employees that the FIFA license has "prevented us from being able to branch into the areas that players want" in terms of gameplay.

Even the EA Sports FC branding isn't surprising; the term appeared in a trademark filing last year, and VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb confirmed the name in a March interview with Giant Bomb.

The New York Times reported last year that FIFA had asked EA to double the $150 million it was already paying for the rights to its brand name. Meanwhile, EA was said to be questioning how much value the FIFA brand brought to its popular game franchise.

"Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people don’t even see the box anymore because they buy the game digitally," Wilson reportedly told employees at a November all-hands meeting.

FIFA announced that it is already working with new partners on "non-simulation" soccer games that will be released later this year, possibly in anticipation of this announcement. That phrase reminds me of Take-2020 Two's announcement of the return of the NFL2K franchise, which will circumvent EA's exclusive license for NFL "simulation" games by providing "non-simulation football game experiences."

ea sports and fifa break

FIFA, on the other hand, says it is "engaging with leading game publishers, media companies, and investors regarding the development of a major new FIFA simulation football game title for 2024." The organization also states that it will continue the tradition of releasing numbered annual FIFA games with its new partners.

"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," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement Monday. "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."

EA's partnership with FIFA began with FIFA International Soccer in 1993 and has since been followed by annual releases as well as occasional spinoffs such as FIFA Street. The only other game series with a comparable unbroken annual streak of releases is EA's Madden NFL franchise, which began in 1988 and will continue to be branded as such despite John Madden's death late last year.

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