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    Fifa, EA Sports break up after almost 30 years

    May 12, 2022
    A promotional image from last year's FIFA 22.
    PHOTO: EA Sports

    FOR almost three decades, a new EA Sports FIFA game has appeared on video game store shelves like clockwork. This year’s edition, FIFA 23, however, will be the last.

    That doesn’t mean, though, that Electronic Arts will stop producing football games. Instead, it will do so under a new name called EA Sports FC.

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    “The introduction of EA SPORTS FC will not impact any current EA Sports global football games, and EA and FIFA are excited to deliver the greatest, most expansive EA SPORTS FIFA ever later this fall,” said EA in a statement.

    It assured fans, “Our final FIFA product will also include more game modes, features, teams, leagues, players, and competitions than any previous edition.”

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    Meanwhile, the sport’s governing body said this week that it is planning to release Fifa-branded video games with other developers and publishers, including “a number of new non-simulation games [that] are already under production.”

    How EA Sports, Fifa partnership fell apart

    Both Electronic Arts and Fifa failed to come to terms in a new agreement that would let the video game publisher continue branding its flagship football franchise with the Fifa name.

    This agreement meant that only EA could name video games — both realistic simulation types or more arcade-y titles — with the Fifa name.

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    The franchise is estimated to have generated $20 billion in sales, according to the New York Times.

    Last October, Fifa signaled in a release that it is “engaging with various industry players” in gaming, and said that “the future of gaming and esports for football stakeholders must involve more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights” — perhaps a thinly veiled reference to EA.

    This came after EA Sports group general manager Cam Weber had said that the company was toying with the idea of dropping the Fifa name. In a statement addressed to fans, Weber implied that the Fifa name was nothing more than a cosmetic, as they have over 300 licensed partners to provide players with real-life players, stadiums, and leagues.

    The first EA Sports Fifa game, FIFA International Soccer, was released in 1993.

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    A promotional image from last year's FIFA 22.
    PHOTO: EA Sports
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