Today Electronic Arts officially announced that the ultra-popular FIFA franchise of soccer games has a new name.
The franchise will be renamed EA Sports FC starting next year following the partnership with FIFA, the governing body of association soccer (or football, if you’re in Europe). That being said, there will be one more FIFA game before this happens.
The announcement comes as no surprise that the partnership has been on shaky foundations for a while, but Electronic Arts mentions that the next game will still include over 300 license partners across the sport.
The new game promises “the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs, and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and VOLTA Football. “
It will also come with 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums, and 30 leagues, including the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS, and more.
While there will be continuity, according to the publisher, the newly acquired independence from FIFA will allow developers to “freely innovate, create, and evolve.”
“This new independent platform will bring fresh opportunity – to innovate, create and evolve. This is much more than just a symbol of change – as EA SPORTS, we are committed to being fully EA SPORTS FC is a symbol of change. We’re dedicated to meaningfully reinvesting in the sport, and we’re excited to work with a large and growing number of partners to extend new authentic experiences that bring joy, inclusivity and immersion to a global community of fans. I look forward to sharing more details on these plans in the coming months.
EA SPORTS FC will allow us to realize this future and much more … but not before we deliver our most expansive game ever with our current naming rights partner, FIFA, for one more year. We are committed to being the next FIFA to be our best ever, with more features, game modes, World Cup content, clubs, leagues, competitions, and players than any FIFA title. “
Why did EA Sports end its partnership with FIFA?
It appears that the split between electronic arts and FIFA, which happened after nearly thirty years of collaboration, has happened for economic reasons.
As the current term of the contract is about to come to an end, the FIFA and EA did not manage to find common ground on the price for its extension, creating a rift that could not possibly be healed.
Could this happen to the Madden NFL franchise as well?
It’s unlikely that the same will happen with the “other side” of football under EA Sports’ purview, at least not in the short term.
The contract with the NFL (which was set to expire with the 2021 season) has been extended into 2020 until the 2026 season.
Of course, we don’t know what will happen after 2026, but we still have quite a few years of Madden NFL ahead of us.