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Home > NEWS > FIFA has made clear that it might not look to work solely with EA

FIFA has made clear that it might not look to work solely with EA

FIFA, the world's largest governing body for soccer, may soon end its exclusive relationship with Electronic Arts. Dating all the way back to the 1990s, FIFA and EA have worked with one another to create a number of annualized entries in the ongoing simulation football franchise. And while this relationship between the two will likely continue into the future, FIFA has made clear that it might not look to work solely with EA as time goes on.

In a statement issued by the organization, FIFA says that it is reassessing its approach to esports and the gaming industry, hoping to look beyond just EA Sports in order to broaden its horizons and give football fans more specialized experiences. “Gaming and eSports are the fastest-growing media verticals on the planet, with new and diverse types of games launching continuously,” it wrote. “It is therefore of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans.”

"As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games," Weber said in an EA press release.

The EA Sports football videogame has been known as FIFA for nearly three decades but that could all change very soon with a decision expected by the end of 2021.

To millions of people around the world, the letters FIFA now represent not actual soccer but instead a one-word shorthand for the hugely popular video game series that has become a fixture in the lives of players as diverse as Premier League pros, casual fans and even gamers with no other relationship to the sport.

At this point in time, it remains unclear what will directly happen between EA and FIFA. EA already made clear a few weeks back that it might even change the name of its annual football series rather than renegotiate a new deal with FIFA. When these changes would actually end up taking hold remains to be seen, but it sounds like we should learn more about this whole situation in the coming weeks.

Why is EA Sports considering a name change?
As with most things, money has a lot to do with why a name change is being looked at.  

A report from The New York Times has revealed football's governing body FIFA are demanding at least double the amount of money they currently pocket for a new licencing agreement with EA. FIFA has been receiving US$150 million annually from the video game franchise but are pushing for that to rise more than $1 billion spread across a four-year World Cup cycle.

While EA hasn’t specifically responded to the new statement from FIFA, the gaming company has long been looking elsewhere to continue its football gaming legacy as discussions have hit a dead end. Earlier this month, a blog post from EA Sports general manager Cam Weber revealed that the company is “exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games,” and the developer has since registered a trademark for “EA Sports FC.”

At least two years of talks about renewing the contract that allows Electronic Arts, through its EA Sports division, to use the organization’s name have hit the wall, according to multiple people close to the negotiations. The possibility of a permanent break after next year’s World Cup in Qatar — when the current 10-year agreement ends — was made explicit in a letter released last week by Cam Weber, the executive president and general manager of EA Sports.

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