FIFA 23 Licenses - Disputes could RUIN player experience

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FIFA 23 Messi

Believe it or not, we aren't a million miles away from the new release of EA Sports FC, with the buzz and excitement surrounding this year's game certain to explode during the upcoming months.

With the battle for licenses more fierce than ever, we want to take a look at how this jostling could end up being damaging for all.

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A Losing Battle

Recently, Konami announced a licensing deal with Italian powerhouses AC Milan, with Mexico's LIGA BBVA MX also making the jump to eFootball.

Whilst AC Milan's deal isn't confirmed to be exclusive, it's hard for many FIFA fans not to worry that we may have another Piemonte Calcio scenario on our hands.

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SWITCHING SIDES - AC Milan have signed a deal with Konami

Whilst competition between eFootball and FIFA no doubt has its benefits, it's clear to see why fans are becoming frustrated with the increasing loss of major teams and leagues.

Ultimately, the licensing battle creates a scenario in which both games miss out.

FIFA 23 may include all the flashy highlights packages in their exclusive Champions League deal, but what is that worth when some teams are operating under fake names and unofficial stadia?

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The Benefits

Let's be clear, there are still some benefits to the dispute.

Ultimately, it allows both games to attract different audiences and have a different reach/pulling power.

Juventus fans will immediately be drawn to eFootball - unfortunate that may be given the game's recent woes - opting against buying FIFA 23 because their team simply isn't there in a recognisable form.

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MEXICO NO MORE - LIGA BBVA MX will not be in FIFA 23

EA has been accused of complacency in recent years and the licensing battle allows them to take a harsh pinch of reality when certain major teams are taken away from their game.

Whilst eFootball takes a different form to the classic Pro Evo games we've seen in the past, the format could still shine - especially if the brand new update delivers on its promises.

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Loss of Immersion

Games like Football Manager pride themselves on their immersive experiences, and FIFA 23 and eFootball ultimately strive to achieve the same thing.

However, I would argue that the licensing battle creates a scenario in which each game feels incomplete.

Whether it's team names, official stadia, or even entire leagues, you can't help but feel that both Konami and EA are shooting themselves in the foot by making some of these deals exclusive.

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INTRUDER ALERT - Juventus' absence in FIFA 22 remains a sore sport for fans of the franchise

Take FIFA for example, its Champions League package is a huge string to their bow, but how excited do you feel in a career mode if you're drawn against Bayern Munich and have to spend a night in Sanderson Park, rather than the beautiful Allianz Arena.

Little details matter, especially in gaming, and the division being created may only serve to diminish the quality of both Konami and EA's final product.

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Sharing is Caring

I'm not expecting Konami and EA to kiss and make up, allowing each and every license to be used by whoever, as I understand that exclusivity lends a lot of power to the rights holder.

However, I believe a deal could be struck in which we see certain licenses shared between games, with Juventus returning to FIFA 23 in their traditional form, and Champions League nights heading back to eFootball.

The balance of competition, exclusivity and greed is hard to strike, but the current situation only sees one fundamental element suffer as a result; the fans.