Why Is FIFA Changing to EA Sports FC?

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Why Is FIFA Changing to EA Sports FC?

FIFA Changing to EA Sports FC caused some commotion in the football and gaming world, but what does it really all mean. EA Sports FC 24 is replacing FIFA 24 this year, with the iconic FIFA branding being replaced going forward. But why, after all this time is EA changing the name of this famous football franchise?

It would be easy to say “money” is the only reason, but it's certainly a major part of why this is all happening. Starting in 1991 with FIFA International Soccer, the FIFA series has had yearly iterations in the series every year since, with 1994's FIFA 95 being the first game to use the numbered format. The series hasn't changed a great deal, after all, it's a football game. Though, from time-to-time EA would release special World Cup editions of the game. The last of these was in 2014 for Brazil, with EA now opting to add the World Cup as an update to the game, rather than a standalone product. This was continued in FIFA 23, when the Women's World Cup was featured with its own game mode to celebrate the tournament.

Why is FIFA changing to EA Sports FC

Simply put, the agreement between FIFA (the governing body of Football) and EA failed to reach a new agreement after 2023/2024. With that, FIFA 23 is the last installment in the series, though, in a practical sense, very little will actually change.

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EA Sports FC 24 will be the first game in the new series, with EA brokering individual partnerships with leagues around the World. The English Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A, and the MLS have already signed exclusivity deals with EA for EA Sports FC.

For FIFA's part, Gianni Infantino isn't looking for this to be the end of FIFA as a football game.Speaking after the news, Infantino said: “I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans,The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.” It's fair to say FIFA are not that happy with EA, and it will be interesting to see what they do instead. Konami still make PES (eFootball), so maybe they'll broker a deal there.

EA Sports FC 24 ultimate edition cover art

Who is losing out the most with FIFA changing to EA Sports FC

It's probably safe to say FIFA is the loser in all of this. Licensing is a huge part of the revenue for FIFA, especially in years without a World Cup. During 2019 to 2022, they record $769 million from licensing rights, with a large portion of that coming from the FIFA game series. So, you can understand why FIFA wanted that golden goose to keep laying eggs. And, likewise, why EA wanted to get away from it.

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For EA, while they lose the name “FIFA”, it's the game, and that games marketing that players are waiting for. People will still call it FIFA 24, 25, etc., and it will be up to EA to change that.

What does it mean for EA and EA Sports FC going forward

With EA FC 24 the first in the series, it's likely we'll know more within a year. We suspect, however, it won't make much difference to EA, and the game will continue to print money for the company. EA FC will be the new moniker for EA's football product, and while it's not a great name, it gets the message across.

Will EA FC ever go back to FIFA

The $250 million question is likely to be, what do FIFA do with the license. Do they just throw it around to any old mobile title or indie game looking to cash in on the name, or will they simply demand too much for anyone to touch it. The big move would be for FIFA to approach someone else do make their own football series, and with a Men's World Cup around the corner, it might be something they look to cash in on. Then again, FIFA have no experience in the field, and video games, especially good ones, take a long time to make. So, we won't be seeing the “EA FC killer” anytime soon.

Why Is FIFA Changing to EA Sports FC?
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last ten years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist. David later became Editor at ESTNN and now leads the current team.