FIFA hints at new football games from EA rivals

With EA already considering dropping the FIFA name from its football games, FIFA itself is willing to go work with other developers.

It’s somewhat hard to believe, but there’s every chance that the FIFA games won’t be called FIFA anymore. Shortly after FIFA 22’s release, EA made a surprise announcement that it is reviewing the naming rights agreement it has with FIFA.

It was later alleged that this is because FIFA wants EA to start paying over $1 billion (more than double what EA already pays) for the license. But if this was EA’s attempt to force FIFA to back down, then it hasn’t worked since the organisation says it is more than happy to go work with someone else.

‘FIFA will adopt a new commercial positioning in gaming and esports to ensure that it is best placed to make decisions that benefit all football stakeholders,’ reads a statement on the official FIFA website.

‘FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and esports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights.’

While it never mentions EA by name, it’s pretty clear that that’s who FIFA is referring to here. It adds ‘Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments.

‘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.

‘FIFA is excited about using the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup as platforms to launch and integrate exciting new games and esports offerings.’

FIFA has undeniably been the dominant football game for many years now, with the only real competition being Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series. Although that’s now been rebranded as eFootball and has suffered from a near disastrous launch.

If FIFA is open to collaborating with other studios, then fans could see a new kind of football game emerge to rival what EA offers. Should a new series boast the FIFA name, it’s possible fans will pick that game up purely because of name association. Or at least that’s FIFA will be hoping.

The split hasn’t technically happened just yet, but both parties are already acting as if it’s inevitable, which EA already trademarking what is assumed to be a new name for its football games.

As for who else might be involved with using the FIFA name, it could be Konami but one of the more obvious front runners is 2K Sports, with Microsoft and Sony also likely to have got a call from FIFA.

FIFA 22 is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PC, and Stadia.

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