As we all should know by now, FIFA 23 is the last title being developed by EA and FIFA, with the companies parting ways to produce FC 24 and FIFA 24, respectively.
When the news first broke that the split was happening, there was a war of words which signalled the start of an upcoming rivalry.
In his latest speech, Gianni Infantino doubled down on that, showing his willingness to go head-to-head with whatever title EA Sports puts out with FIFAs own - with news on FIFA 24 coming soon!
The split between FIFA and EA has been acrimonious, with each side slamming the other for various reasons and trying to lure the fanbase to its own football game offering.
Gianni Infantino has been elected FIFA President once again and in a speech at the FIFA Congress it wasn't just the state of real-life football he commented on, saying:
"The new FIFA game - the FIFA 25, 26, 27 and so on - will always be the best e-game for any girl or boy, we will have news on this very soon.”
This echoes a previous statement made, in which he said:
"I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on - the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST."
It's clear that Infantino is ready for a fight, but will FIFA 24 be able to battle it out with EA Sports FC 24? Let's take a look at how things could shape up.
How did we get here?
Before we take a look at the future of each franchise, here is a quick overview of what has led to the situation.
After 30 years of creating football games together, rumours started to emerge that EA was unhappy with how much control and revenue FIFA wanted over the game, seemingly judging themselves as a bigger part of the FIFA franchise than EA considered them.
This led EA not to renew its deal with FIFA and continue the football series under a different name, with EA CEO Andrew Wilson reportedly saying:
“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box"
Shortly after that, EA put out a promotional Tweet announcing EA Sports FC 24 as the next game in the series.
Of course, FIFA had its own business to take care of, and even before the split was announced they were looking toward other gaming companies to partner with.
In a swipe at EA, part of their statement read:
FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and eSports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights.
Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments.
Consequently, FIFA is engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts, to build out a long-term view of the gaming, eSports and interactive entertainment sector.
It was then that Infantino took on EA back, saying:
"I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans."
FC 24 v FIFA 24
From everything reported so far, it seems that FC 24 is in a far stronger position than FIFA 24.
For a start, EA already has the main bulk of a title to build from, refining the game, game modes and gameplay over 30 years to the product it is now as FIFA 23.
EA has also got multi-year partnerships with associations all over the world, helping build a comprehensive and inclusive game.
They know they are in a solid position going forward, as can be seen from a statement on their website:
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. 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.
So, what does FIFA have to combat that? Well, as far as we can tell - nothing!
The main lure the company has is its globally recognised name, which will definitely bring players to the title, but there needs to be a game to begin with.
The last that we knew, FIFA was still looking for a partner to develop their game with, a title that fans would expect to be released in a few months' time!
There was also a noticeable difference between the recent statement made by Infantino and his previous one relating to upcoming FIFA titles.
This time, he did not mention FIFA 24, instead saying "[t]he new FIFA game - the FIFA 25, 26, 27 and so on".
Could this be the first admission of failure in producing a game to rival EA Sports FC 24 from the start?
It is a new venture from FIFA, so perhaps they misjudged how quick the turnaround would be to have a game made at the same level as previous titles.
We would much rather see a well-created game released later than a rushed job dropped ASAP.
As Infantino said, "we will have news on this very soon”, so we await further details.