FIFA 23 is still less than two months away but Electronic Arts is already preparing for the future of the acclaimed video game series.
Electronic Arts and FIFA first signed a deal for FIFA to endorse the game and to allow EA to use name FIFA teams and players way back in 1993. Since then, every year they’ve uprated the game, incorporated the latest players and stats and taken advantage of improvements in hardware to deliver the game we know today.
Details of the reason for 2023’s upcoming break up with FIFA 23 essentially being the last ‘FIFA’ are sketchy but its safe to say that every year, with every new game, money flows out of EA to FIFA for the rights, and that rules, regulations, tweaks and demands flow from FIFA to EA… Draw your own conclusions.
With EA on the top of the soccer game (after the disappointing loss of Konami’s PES and the ongoing stumble that is their eFootball) they’ve decided that their game is bigger than the FIFA brand and the next ‘FIFA’ will be called EA Soccer FC instead.
Who knows. Without the need to adhere to FIFA rules EA might have some interesting new gameplay and modes up their sleeves. Just don’t mess with the beautiful game too much, eh?…
What about licenced teams?
But what about all those player and team names and likenesses that we’ve all come to expect?
Well, the video game giant has just announced a new deal with Spanish LaLiga – home to El Classico giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona – for a “one of a kind, the multi-year partnership” that’ll kick off the 2023-2024 season with EA as the official title sponsors for the league.
It’s a sleek move from EA as that is also – surprise, surprise – the same season in which it is no longer entitled to use the FIFA name.
According to EA, the new deal with LaLiga includes:
“…title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions, a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts, and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.”
The deal will also cover Spain’s top two soccer divisions as well as an annual youth tournament and official eSports competitions. EA stated that it’ll release more details on the partnership “in the coming months.”
Losing the FIFA name is obviously a huge blow to EA as it has helped keep the video game distinct from competitors. Lately, EA has been announcing a number of partnerships to prepare for a new era as EA Sports FC.
LaLiga on the other hand is slowly becoming the prime landing spot for many tech sponsorships. Spotify recently bought the stadium naming rights for FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou earlier this year.
FIFA 23 will launch on September 30th and will introduce several notable partners like the top women’s leagues in England, and France, and will bring back an official license for Italian giants Juventus.
Expect more deals like this as the 2024 game approaches.