FIFA and EA Sports end their two-decade partnership
These games, however, will not offer the same type of match simulations that enthusiasts of the EA Sports version have come to know. For that, consumers will be told to wait until 2024, when FIFA will announce the launch of a rival football simulation game.
“I can assure you that the only real authentic game bearing the FIFA name will be the best available to football players and fans,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “The name FIFA” – which he suggested the organization would pick up for its own game – “is the only global and original title”.
The last EA Sports-FIFA deal was signed 10 years ago, but the years that followed were marked not only by big changes in technology, but also by even bigger upheavals at FIFA, which nearly broke down. collapse after a major corruption scandal in 2015. Infantino, since taking office that year, has tried — and often failed — to unlock new revenue streams.
When even direct talks between Infantino and Electronic Arts chief executive Andrew Wilson failed to yield a breakthrough, the parties agreed to an amicable parting, Wilson said.
“It was really about how can we do more for the players, more for the fans, how can we offer them more game modalities, how can we bring more partners into the game, how can we’re expanding beyond the confines of traditional gaming,” Wilson, whose personal association as a game engineer dates back two decades, said in a phone interview.
In addition to a doubling of its licensing fees, FIFA has also demanded the ability to attach its brand to other digital products, including other video games, according to people familiar with the talks. It turned out to be a step too far for EA Sports, who now have to persuade legions of dedicated fans to get used to another name.