They’ve been one of the power couples of the video game industry for over a quarter of a century. But now Electronic Arts and Fifa are set to begin the process of a high-profile divorce that could revitalize the football game market or just as easily ruin it.
Earlier this week, video game publisher and developer EA announced that it would no longer be developing games in partnership with world governing body soccer from 2023 after failing to agree on a fee to license international teams and tournaments like the World Cup. It was reported that Fifa wanted to double the previous license fee agreed in 2013 to $1 billion; a number that does little to invalidate the broad public perception of the organization as a money-hungry behemoth who doesn’t really care about football or football fans.
EA has released a Fifa-branded game every year since 1993. While the graphics have improved year on year, new features and gameplay improvements, especially offline, have been sparse in recent installments.
Fifa games have undoubtedly been aided by the authenticity made possible by their official role. With proper names for players, clubs and competitions, the Fifa series stood out from Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer games, for example, as most people would probably rather control Ronaldo than Ronaird, or Manchester United than Man Red.
However, when Fifa plays hardball with its naming rights, it is betting on two things. The first is that people are actually very interested in international football. EA has confirmed that it will continue to develop football games after 2023, which will be rebranded as EA Sports FC, and will continue to include most of the world famous players. These will remain controllable due to separate licensing deals being negotiated with their clubs and leagues.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gaming/features/end-ea-fifa-partnership-fork-road-football-games/ The end of the EA-Fifa partnership is a fork in the road for football games