Behind the scenes of the split between EA Sports and FIFA

Electronic Arts has formalized the name change of its famous football game FIFA by removing the brand from the international federation and renaming it EA SPORTS FC. A strategy justified by the desire to expand the American brand, which felt too cramped by being attached to the famous four letters.

The end of a long and fruitful marriage. Electronic Arts formalized the name change of its famous FIFA video game on Tuesday. Gone is the four-letter acronym that represents the highest international football organization, taking place at EA SPORTS FC from 2023. The change has been in the pipeline for several months and will therefore be active when the contract between the two parties expires. until December 2022 This will have resulted in a long-term relationship of 29 years. The price FIFA demanded to keep using its name (between £1.5 and £2 billion over ten years, depending on the source) was deemed too high by EA, who wanted to broaden its scope.

EA Sports chairman Andrew Wilson reportedly believed that association with the FIFA brand limited his development strategy. He had briefed his associates at a meeting last November, the contents of which had been revealed by the VideoGamesChronicle site in February. “I’m going to be more open… more open than I was with the outside world,” Wilson said. “We’ve had a great relationship with FIFA for the past 30 years. We’ve created billions of dollars worth of value…c “is just huge. We’ve created one of the greatest entertainment opportunities in the world.”

‘What we get from FIFA are the four letters on the box’

“I would say – and it may be a little biased – that the FIFA brand makes more sense as a video game than as football’s governing body,” he added. “We don’t take that for granted and we try not to be arrogant… what we’re actually getting from FIFA in a year without the World Cup is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people have the They don’t even see the box anymore because they buy the game online. As we look to the future, we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA license has actually been a barrier to that.”

Wilson then indicated that he wanted to focus more on the expectations of his users. “Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem more broadly. Our fans tell us they want us to join that space. Due to the nature of approval timelines and different things around our FIFA license, it’s very difficult and we’re moving a lot slower than we would like.” The split was finally consummated a few weeks later.

EA’s current partnership with FIFA has been extended for next year’s Women’s World Cup. FIFA 23 is the last game of the franchise to be released. EA then plans to launch EA Sports FC in 2023, a form of interactive gaming in partnership with more than 300 partners around the world of football.

The broadcasting of real matches offered to users?

Several clubs and players posted on their social networks on Tuesday confirming their presence in the new version of the game. According to the BBC, it will likely offer players the opportunity to watch real matches, experience in-game events such as Fortnite and to offer users a wider range of in-game branded items, but major FIFA events such as the World Cup will not be included.

“The world of football and the world of entertainment are changing and they are opposing each other within our product,” David Jackson, vice president of EA Sports, told the BBC. demands to be more comprehensive in this offering. Right now, we are engaged in gaming as a primary form of interactive experience. Soon, viewing and creating content will be equally important to fans. According to the licensing agreement we had with FIFA ten years ago agreed, there were limitations that prevented us from creating these experiences for players.”

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