Football is the most popular sport in the world. And when you combine its most considerable governing body(FIFA) with one of the world’s largest game developers (Electronic Arts), the result is supposed to be remarkable. And remarkable it was, ever since FIFA and EA Sports joined hands back in 1993. But after a tremendous run of 29 years, an official statement has emerged that sees EA Sports and FIFA end their partnership. Failure to agree to terms on a contract renewal has led to this decision.
EA Sports shared its plans in the announcement. The game is set to be renamed EA Sports FC come 2023. It made its debut towards the end of 1993 as FIFA International Soccer. Also called FIFA 94, the game rose to fame during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Only national teams were featured, while no real player names were allotted. It has come a long way with its latest release FIFA 22.
EA Sports and FIFA end their partnership: The dispute
The current deal between the two parties will expire in 2023. Months of negotiations were carried out in search of an extension. However, FIFA reportedly demanded an annual paycheck of $300 million from EA. The amount is almost double the current sum that EA Sports hands out to FIFA annually. They further believe that not having FIFA’s restrictionary policies will benefit the game. These have resulted at the end of the partnership between FIFA and EA Sports. In EA’s official statement, they have shown their gratitude towards FIFA. But there were already signs of disagreements for a long time now.
What does the game’s future hold as FIFA and EA Sports part ways?
EA Sports ‘FIFA 23’ will be the final alliance between the duo. Followings its release later this year, EA will launch ‘EA Sports FC.’ They have assured us that there will be no changes in the user experience. If at all there are any, it’ll only get better. The statement reads, “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.”.
On the other hand, FIFA is reportedly searching for a gaming partner to launch a game of their own. FIFA offered the stature needed while EA made the game. Together they formed one of the most profitable collaborations in gaming history. Ironically enough, a financial disagreement proved to be the reason behind their split up.