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Starting next year, the hugely popular FIFA video game franchise will be known as EA SPORTS FC.
“This new independent platform will bring fresh opportunity, to innovate, create and evolve,” Cam Weber, EVP and group GM for EA Sports & Racing, said in a statement.
“EA SPORTS FC will allow us to realize this future and much more … but not before we deliver our most expansive game ever with our current naming rights partner, FIFA, for one more year,” he added.
EA will still retain most of the team and player likenesses that have made its game so popular, thanks to separate license agreements with global soccer leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States and European soccer association UEFA.
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Electronic Arts’ stock was essentially flat following the news.
“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in the statement. “FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on — the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.”
While EA Sports owns several other popular video game sports franchises, including Madden (American football), NHL (hockey), the PGA tour (golf) and Formula 1 (racing), the company says FIFA is by far its biggest money maker.
“Revenue from our FIFA franchise, including the annualised console and PC game which is consistently one of the best-selling games in the marketplace … is material to our business and will continue to be so.”
In his statement on Tuesday, Weber thanked the “incredible community of more than 150 million fans” for building FIFA into the “world’s biggest [soccer] entertainment platform.”
The gaming company on Tuesday also touted an endorsement from global sporting behemoth Nike.
“We are excited to continue and expand our long partnership with EA Sports as we serve athletes at the intersection of sport, gaming, and culture,” DJ van Hameren, Nike’s EVP and CMO, said in a statement shared by EA.
“Our partnership with EA SPORTS FC will authentically grow the ways our communities can play and engage with sport.”