The rumours have been circulating for a while that EA and FIFA would end their partnership, with FIFA 23 set to be the last in their long-running football series.
Now, we have the official news - what could have been called FIFA 24 will now be named EA Sports FC.
EA Sports announced the news via their official Twitter account, which has sent the socials crazy!
Read on to find out everything you need to know about this latest development.
Leaks have been coming out for a while now that FIFA 23 would be the final game in the FIFA franchise, with disputes surrounding money and game content apparently key factors in EA not wanting to extend the partnership.
At last, we have some solid information, with EA now confirming that FIFA 23 will be their last game in collaboration with FIFA.
From 2023, a new game will be in town - EA Sports FC.
FIFA 23 World Cup Confirmed
Among the leaks that had previously come out about FIFA 23 was a much anticipated World Cup game mode, which was thought to be released as a DLC.
It was reported that there would be a separate game mode for both the men's and women's World Cup tournaments, the first time the women's game would receive such a high profile mode.
Although not specifically announced, part of the statement from EA does speak about what we can expect from FIFA 23, including mention of World Cup content.
[W]e [will] deliver our most expansive game ever with our current naming rights partner, FIFA, for one more year. We are committed to ensuring the next FIFA is our best ever, with more features, game modes, World Cup content, clubs, leagues, competitions, and players than any FIFA title before.
Not only will the World Cup be included in FIFA 23, but it looks set to be the biggest game yet, with more leagues, clubs, competitions and players added.
This could include lower leagues such as the English National League and expansion into the women's game, adding club sides to the game as well as including international teams.
A Growing Rift
VGC previously revealed that in "comments provided anonymously" to them, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said:
“As we’ve looked to the future we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA licence has actually been an impediment to that”
There has already been a war of words between EA and FIFA, with EA unhappy with how much control and revenue FIFA want over the game, and FIFA happy to look to other gaming companies to partner with.
Apparently said by Wilson in an internal company meeting in November, this was the latest in a series of statements that looks to have driven EA and FIFA apart.
The New York Times has previously reported on what could have started the rift, with FIFA supposedly wanting EA to more than double its payment for the licencing rights.
Many may fear that the split between EA and FIFA will mean losing out on licenses, with even more teams going the way of
Juventus Piemonte Calcio, using generic kits, stadiums and sometimes even players.
However, this won't be the case.
During talks about extending their partnership, it seemed like FIFA was overestimating what they brought to the deal, as it is just the 'FIFA' name and rights to the World Cup that EA gained from them, with all other licences coming from other parties.
This looks to be how EA interpreted the situation too, with Wilson reported to have used the damming statement:
“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box"
This is backed up in the latest statement announcing EA Sports FC, which hints at the potential of more exclusive partnerships to come in the future.
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.
New Name, Same Game
EA undoubtedly plan to take EA Sports FC in some different directions from previous FIFA games, however, they are not forgetting what made them such a big player in the first place.
Next year, EA SPORTS FC will become the future of football from EA SPORTS. Alongside our 300+ license partners across the sport, we’re ready to take global football experiences to new heights, on behalf of all football fans around the world.
Everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there.
EA has confirmed that the regular Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA modes will all continue in their new instalment, with the game set to add to its existing content as opposed to replacing it.
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