After almost 30 years of collaboration, EA (Electronic Arts) and FIFA have decided to part ways. The parties failed to come to terms with license renewal and the alliance broke. Both parties have determined to produce separate simulation games pending 2024, with FIFA 23 their last joint project. And this comes as a bombshell in the gaming community as it leads to unchartered territory. One can expect this disruption in the alliance to disrupt the gaming market with regard to football.
The partnership between FIFA and EA Sports started in 1993, producing 29 games to date. FIFA 23 will be the 30th and the last. FIFA earned around $150m annually owing to licensing rights for the game. Out of $7b total expected revenue from 2019 to 2022, the deal was the single biggest earner in that phase–so one can understand how big a “deal” it was.
EA Sports have already declared that their game will be called EA Sports FC. Similarly, FIFA has also announced that they will produce their own game in collaboration with some other third party. And both the parties seem fairly confident in the path they have decided to choose. Over time, the game had managed to create a cult following -from teenagers to adults. And only time will tell which party will be most affected by this arrangement or lack thereof.
Although there are numerous other football-related video games, FIFA managed to leapfrog others over the last decade. It had become synonymous with football gaming. Games like PES and Winning Eleven did try to shake the market. However, try is all they could as EA Sports managed to up their game every single year. But now EA won’t have the name “FIFA” which had its own appeal. Similarly, FIFA won’t have EA as its producer. So, it will be interesting to see how the gaming community responds.