Image Source: EA Sports
Electronic Arts have announced that it will no longer produce Fifa-branded football games.
EA Sports, a part of Electronic Arts, has been developing football games for nearly three decades, starting with the first FIFA game in 1993 and being in charge of the franchise ever since.
It is one of the most profitable gaming brands ever, but the expense of the license was one of the factors in the decision to end the collaboration. EA will continue to develop football video games, but they will be released under a new umbrella called EA Sports FC beginning in 2023.
While the gameplay mechanics and primary forms of play will be comparable to what players have come to anticipate in recent years, this move will almost certainly result in changes to a wider range of other experiences and the ability to play.
EA Sports vice president David Jackson told the BBC that the studio believes it is time to take a different approach in order to create a “future brand.”
Although the firm hasn’t revealed the specifics of those experiences, it’s safe to imagine that watching real-life matches, participating in Fortnite-style live in-game events, and accessing a wider choice of branded in-game objects are all things EA would like to be able to provide.
“The worlds of football and entertainment are shifting, and they collide within our offering,” Jackson explains.
“In the future, our players will expect us to be able to provide a more diverse offering.” We currently use play as our major type of interactive experience. However, for fans, viewing and generating content will soon be equally vital.
“There were some limits in the licensing conventions that we had negotiated with Fifa ten years ago that wouldn’t allow us to construct those experiences for players.”
The success of the FIFA franchise can be attributed in part to comprehensive license arrangements that allowed for accurate renderings of team uniforms, players’ faces, and stadiums on screen. For years, players have been allowed to play as Premier League teams such as Liverpool, although competing games such as Pro Evolution Soccer include fake sides such as Merseyside Red.
EA claims to have signed up 19,000 athletes, 700 teams, 100 stadiums, and over 30 leagues for future games, indicating that they will continue to offer real-world experiences. The Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and Uefa are among them.
However, this implies that games like FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, which were launched to coincide with the World Cup, will no longer be created by EA. Instead, there will be one final FIFA release, with this year’s edition-FIFA 23-expected to be released in the autumn.
Last year, FIFA announced that it was meeting with developers, investors, and analysts to determine its future strategy for gaming, eSports, and interactive entertainment, indicating that they had anticipated this shift for some time.
“People will always be concerned about change at first,” Jackson says.
“There will be only two things that players will miss: the name and a World Cup piece of content every four years.” But, aside from that, virtually little will change about the current FIFA products that fans know and love.
“The most straightforward thing we could have done was to maintain the status quo.” Fifa has been a hugely popular game throughout the years, but there are times when you have to think about the future, and we believe that developing our own brand is the best option for us. “