After a public battle, it seems the relationship between FIFA and Electronic Arts could be coming to an end. FIFA 22 is currently available, but a 10-year agreement between the two companies is set to conclude with the release of FIFA 23, and the following year, the series could go by a new name. On the GrubbSnax! podcast, reporter Jeff Grubb states that EA has settled on a new title for the series: EA Sports FC. There has been no official word from EA at this time, but it's worth noting that the company has filed a trademark for that name. Clearly, EA is starting to plan for the future!
The relationship between EA and FIFA has become strained over the last year, as the latter is looking for more money for its branding; apparently, the organization wants $2.5 billion over 10 years for the naming rights. In an all-hands meeting held last year, EA CEO Andrew Wilson apparently argued against keeping the FIFA branding. Wilson also claimed that FIFA has held back progress on the series. While Wilson acknowledged that FIFA has the rights to the World Cup, he also maintained that EA's existing partnerships would allow the company to retain the elements that have made its FIFA games so popular.
Additionally, Grubb claims that FIFA has updated its trademark to include video games. Essentially, this means that the organization could continue to produce new FIFA games in-house, or with a different publisher. That means soccer fans could see FIFA 24 on the shelves alongside EA Sports FC! That might lead to some confusion for casual gamers, but with EA's size and marketing budget, the company could make sure most players know the difference.
Of course, these trademarks could just be a move to prepare for the possibility before any kind of decision has been made. Given how much money is on the table, it's entirely possible FIFA and EA could come to terms over the licensing agreement and continue working together. It certainly doesn't look like that will be the case, but for now, it doesn't seem that any definitive decisions have been made!
Would you be opposed to EA selecting a different name for the FIFA series? Do you think the branding is important? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!