FIFA is possibly the biggest sports franchise in the world today. Being the main governing body behind association football, FIFA is in charge of the biggest sport in the world. The organization was founded in 1904, with the goal of overseeing international competition between a few European countries. However, since then, it has grown to cover over 200 national associations.
The franchise encompasses football games, futsal games, a ton of merchandise, and a wide variety of licensed games, many of which enjoy huge popularity in the eSport circuit. FIFA also makes a ton of money annually from betting. It will surprise no one to learn that football is the most popular betting sport in the world.
With 3 billion fans around the world, it will come as no shock that a lot of them place bets on their favorite teams and matches. If we were to take a look at sports betting apps, we would see that apps for football betting are by far the most popular. This fact is unsurprising, as football fans have always been some of the most deeply passionate fans in the sports industry.
We mentioned FIFA’s success in the gaming industry before. In collaboration with EA Sports, the FIFA franchise has produced dozens of video games. Not only are they hugely popular among fans of the sport, but they are also hugely popular on the eSport circuit. In fact, the FIFA Sports are some of the most popular competitive video games, played professionally.
But it would seem that the FIFA video game franchise will not last much longer. News of a rebranding recently hit it big. So, let us take a look at the reasons why the FIFA franchise is rebranding after decades of success.
Changes Are Coming
FIFA 23 will be the last installment in the hugely successful franchise published by EA Sports. According to the company, some rebranding will take place, as the video game company and the football organization will sever its ties in the summer of 2023.
Supposedly, the two sides spent months negotiating the extension of their contracts. Discussion, arguments, disagreements, compromises, none of which resulted in an agreement on future terms. So, EA Sports has officially announced that the FIFA 23 game will be the final game bearing the “FIFA” name.
The FIFA video game franchise is worth approximately $20 billion, when putting together all of the annual sales of the game. But, once we take into account the money spent on the mobile game, FIFA Ultimate Team, the value grows even more.
So, What Comes Next?
But, fans of the game ought not fret. FIFA games will still exist in some shape. After the deal expires this coming summer, EA will be rebranding the title. Starting in 2024, EA Sports will be publishing a new series of football games titled EA Sports FC.
Now, with a different name will also come different aesthetics and a different look. And while this may bother certain players, many will be happy to learn that the overall gameplay, mechanics, leagues, teams and players licences will likely remain consistent. Of course, EA will not have the right to feature brands that fall under the FIFA umbrella. So, quite a few football fans are excited to see what comes next for the EA football franchise.
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— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) May 10, 2022
On the other hand, FIFA fans might be dismayed at lacking a proper FIFA game. However, there should not be a reason for worry. The FIFA organization made a ton of cash from their video game license. Meaning, they are not very likely to drop that market very soon.
If anything, the news might just be positive, as it could result in the football organization taking new creative decisions. At best, we will get a brand new, even better version of the FIFA video game franchise. At worst, we get two, competently made and entertaining football games being released side-by-side.
As for the 2023 eSports season, tournaments will continue as of now, well into 2023. After the split, however, the games rebranding will likely result in the tournaments being rebranded as well. Though this development should not result in any large scale changes in the franchise.
Reasons for The Falling Out?
Several reports have been released detailing the reasons behind the falling out. Supposedly, FIFA were not too pleased with EA Sports’ suggestion to include actual highlights from real games. Furthermore, the football organization were not keen on allowing the gaming company to include digital products, such as NFTs under their brand.
On the other hand, EA Sports found it ridiculous that FIFA would demand almost double the agreed-upon licensing fee. And even more unreasonable is the demand that they should be allowed to pursue other developers for games bearing the FIFA name that would be released simultaneously as the EA Sports FIFA franchise.
Upon learning this, there is no doubt in our minds that each side had wildly different visions for the game franchise’s future. Perhaps the two sides will eventually reconcile and come to an agreement, but as it stands now, it would appear that their 20-year-old partnership has certainly come to an end.