EA Sports is saying goodbye to FIFA, with FIFA 23 being the last FIFA football game it’ll release.
No, EA hasn’t shuttered another division, but after releasing FIFA 23 this year (there’s no release date as yet), it won’t be forking out for the FIFA license. Instead, it’ll move forward with EA SPORTS FC, the company’s own football franchise.
Will this be FIFA with a new name? Not exactly. EA apparently sees this as an opportunity to create something special and, probably, even more profitable than the original FIFA series which has been running since the 1990s.
“EA SPORTS FC will be the platform for EA to innovate, create, and grow new experiences. It will bring more areas of the sport to life, and harness the collective strength of more than 150 million players across EA SPORTS’ global football games – and reach hundreds of millions of new fans in the years to come,” reads EA’s statement.
It’s certainly true that the series has a huge, huge fan base. And we’d assume that EA has the right to reuse code and assets from the FIFA series instead of starting from scratch, as long as the FIFA branding is absent.
We had good things to say about FIFA 21, EA Sports’ last-but-one entry in the series and while it wasn’t groundbreaking it still left us impressed. In short, EA Sports is in a good position to deliver a good, if not great football game in the shape of EA SPORTS FC. Whether they’ll go free-to-play, as has been the case with Konami’s PES replacement, eFootball, remains to be seen.
So what about FIFA themselves? The football association has put out their own statement, stating they’ll be diversifying into non-sim games. “A number of new non-simulation games are already under production and will launch during the third quarter of this year”, reads the statement.
In other words, we could be getting football games that are more akin to Back Street Soccer and other arcade-based football games. We did, certainly get a kick (sorry) out of playing Super Sidekicks in the arcade, but we’re not sure whether there’s a big enough market for those type of experiences. I guess we, and FIFA, will find out.
We’ll leave you with a bizarre quote from FIFA President Gianni Infantino that sounds like something Donald Trump would have tweet out:
“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.”