The long-suspected breakup between FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, and EA Sports, the maker of one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, came to fruition on Tuesday. Yes, it was about money.
FIFA, also the game’s namesake, wanted at least double the $150 million it gets annually from EA Sports, plus a load of other asks that wouldn’t have lent itself exclusivity, according to the New York Times. The game has generated more than $20 billion in the last two decades.
What does this mean for players? For now, nothing other than a name change. Following the Women’s World Cup in summer 2023, the game known as “FIFA” will become “EA Sports FC”. Due to 300 other licensing deals, the game will still include most of the players, teams and features it has now.
On the other hand, FIFA vows to make its own “rival soccer simulation” game by 2024, according to the Times, though existing relationships will make it tough for them to include names and likenesses of English Premier League and Champions League players. That seems like a big deal unless a solution can be found.
But, to give you an idea of where things stand, in the wake of the news that sides had split, EA Sports orchestrated posts by several of the top clubs in the world in support of its game’s new name including PSG, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City.