EA Sports has been dominating that football sim space with its annual FIFA games for a long, long time now, but that could see some significant changes in the near future. Earlier this month, the company publicly said that it was considering changing the name of its FIFA series, with a trademark filing for “EA Sports FC” not long afterward doubling down on that. Recent reports have explained that the two parties seem to have hit an impasse in their negotiations for extending the licensing deal between the two, with FIFA apparently demanding exorbitant amounts of money for the same, and EA being unwilling to shell out that much cash.
Now, the global football governing body has released a statement of its own (via Eurogamer), in which it states that it no longer feels the football gaming and esports space should be controlled by a single party, suggesting that the organization could open up the gates and hand out the FIFA license to multiple companies out there. Apparently, FIFA is looking at “a range of suitable parties with specialist capabilities to actively shape the best possible experiences and offerings.”
“Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments,” FIFA’s statement reads. “Consequently, FIFA is engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts, to build out a long-term view of the gaming, esports and interactive entertainment sector.”
“Gaming and esports are the fastest-growing media verticals on the planet, with new and diverse types of games launching continuously. It is therefore of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans… FIFA also has a duty to support its 211 member associations to fully capitalise on the inherent opportunities that have been emerging over the recent years. As part of this strategy, FIFA also commits to continuing to organise skill-based esports tournaments under the umbrella of the recently launched FIFAe competition structure and consumer brand.”
EA Sports has said in past statements that even if it were to lose the FIFA license, all of its other licenses for the names, crests, and likenesses for players, teams, and leagues would remain intact, which effectively means that the series would only see a change in its branding. You can read more about the ongoing situation through here.