End of an era – EA Sports and FIFA are parting ways
It's no longer in the game. Or is it?
Three decades of dominance – apart from that glorious run when Pro Evolution Soccer was king – later, the partnership between EA Sports and FIFA is soon to be no more.
Following various rumours and rumblings of a split in recent months, it's official – FIFA needs a new developer.
EA Sports, meanwhile, will continue to play the beautiful (video) game in the form of its new in-house franchise, known as EA SPORTS FC.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon (10 May), the company said it plans to "take global football experiences to new heights, on behalf of all football fans around the world".
In short, it sounds like not all that much is changing. The statement continues:
"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.
"Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA SPORTS FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come.
EA Sports is currently working on the next FIFA instalment, and will deliver it in time for the new season. "We are committed to ensuring the next FIFA is our best ever, with more features, game modes, World Cup content, clubs, leagues, competitions, and players than any FIFA title before," a spokesperson confirmed.
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) May 10, 2022
According to the New York Times, the split follows months of "tense" negotiations that resulted in no agreement being reached. The partnership has been a significantly lucrative one, with the series generating almost €19 billion across the past three decades.
Reports suggest that FIFA had been looking for "at least double" the €142 million it receives annually from EA Sports to use the licence. The New York Times says it "quickly became clear there were different expectations" regarding what a new deal should constitute.