Electronic Arts has ended its deal with FIFA, after almost thirty years, and will rebrand its football games as EA Sports FC.
In a press release, EA has driven home that its annual game will retain its authenticity. EA Sports exec Cam Weber writes:
“Everything you love about our games will be part of EA Sports FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes. “Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and Volta Football will all be there.
“Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA Sports FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come.”
This was something that we knew might be coming. Earlier this year, EA CEO Andrew Wilson, in an all-hands meeting with staff, was reported to have said:
“I would argue – and this may be a little biased – that the FIFA brand has more meaning as a video game than it does a governing body of soccer.”
Wilson then went on to give some reasons for the change:
“Our players are telling us they want us to move really quick: ‘we want you guys doing stuff fast’. And in order to do that, we need a level of freedom to be truly creative, innovative and experiment in the marketplace.
“Because of the nature of the approval timetables and the various things around our FIFA licence, that’s actually been really hard and we’re moving much slower than we want.”
FIFA responded last year to EA’s potential dropping of the name. The company issued a statement, saying that it was in talks with “various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts.”