In March, EA announced it would be dropping “FIFA” from its game titles. Now the company have gone into greater detail about the decision.
FIFA 22 is the final time you’ll see the famous “FIFA” acronym on an EA game’s cover, after the company decided to rebrand to EA Sports FC.
During an earnings call last night, EA CEO Andrew Wilson gave a bit more context regarding his company’s decision to drop their association with FIFA.
While money is an obvious factor, with FIFA upping its licensing deal to $1 billion every four years, EA say they want to explore more functions with the franchise.
“When we think about the future of football right now, we really made this decision on the basis of being able to deliver experiences that our players wanted,” Wilson said during the call.
Apparently some of those experiences are likely to revolve around creating, and watching content – an area where FIFA is currently lagging.
“They told us they wanted more modalities of play. They told us they wanted to see more commercial partners in the game that are representative and authentic to the broad global world of football.”
“They’re telling us they want us to move beyond just the core experience and really build out this digital football experience. And they’re telling us they want us to move really, really fast.”
In terms of licences, there’s little information about which leagues and teams FIFA will keep a hold of, or if anything has slipped from its grasp.
The company confirmed they’ve already signed 19,000 athletes, 700 teams, 100 stadiums, and over 30 leagues including the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, MLS, and UEFA competitions, but there are rumours that AC Milan could be cutting ties with EA and jumping ship to Konami’s eFootball franchise.
“The important thing to understand though is that as you travel around the world and you meet with players who really are deeply engaged with our game, for a player in the UK, the most important thing to them is the Premiere League.”
“For a player in Germany the most important thing to them is the Bundesliga. In Spain it’s La Liga, and so on and so forth as you go around the world,” Wilson explained.
“What we’re focused on right now is building very unique experiences for each of those fans in each of those markets, and what you’ve seen today is many of our partners come out in support of our ability to do this for our fans.”
Teams including Ajax and Serie A club Venezia FC posted on social media in solidarity with EA for the name change.
Unfortunately, unless a few results go their way, the Venetian club won’t be in Serie A next year, so their post revealing that they are “In the club” could be a clue that EA have wrangled the rights to Serie B for their next release.
We are in the club.
Learn more, July 2023 🎮#EASPORTSFC pic.twitter.com/pNqSlvhx9d
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) May 10, 2022