Creative Soccer Culture

Is EA Sports' FIFA Series Set To Be Renamed?

Can you possibly imagine EA Sports FIFA series not being called FIFA anymore? Would be well weird, right? Well it looks like it could well be a possibility down the line, with reports suggesting the gaming company could be set for a split from football's governing body – and their £73.6m-per-year contact.

It’s been a week since FIFA 22 dropped, so firstly, congratulations on peeling yourself away from your controller long enough to read this article. EA have produced annual editions of the FIFA series every year since 1993, with the franchise sitting in direct competition with other great titles such as Pro Evolution Soccer. But with Konami recently officially announcing that Pro Evo is set to become eFootball, FIFA could also be set for a radical name change, with EA Sports revealing that they are toying with the idea of changing the iconic series’ name.

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EA Sports group general manager Cam Weber announced that the company are exploring the idea of a rebrand of the FIFA series, as they 'review their naming rights arrangement' with world football's governing body. The deal with EA Sports is FIFA's biggest commercial contract, worth more than £73.6m a year, and the loss of that revenue would be financially detrimental for them. 

The statement read: statement said: “Through years of building our global franchise, we also know that authenticity is essential to the experience. 

“That’s why we focus so much energy on the collective strength of over 300 individual licensed partners that give us access to 17,000+ athletes across 700+ teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world. 

“We continually invest in the partnerships and licenses that are most meaningful to players, and because of that, our game is the only place you can authentically play in the iconic UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONMEBOL Libertadores, Premier League, Bundesliga, and LaLiga Santander, among many others.

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"The breadth of our partnerships and our ecosystem of licensed content will enable us to continue to bring unrivalled authenticity in our EA SPORTS football games, now and for many years to come.

"As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games. This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.

"The future of football is very big and very bright. Our priority is to ensure we have every opportunity to continue delivering the world’s greatest interactive football experiences."

However, at this stage the announcement could be nothing more than a negotiating tactic, as the arrangement as it stands is beneficial to both parties. Since its release last week, FIFA 22 has already amassed 9.1 million players, with 460 million matches played and 7.6 million Ultimate Team squads created. You can’t help but imagine that its appeal would be hugely impacted by a name change, with the game’s authenticity acting as one of its main appeals.

The loss of the naming rights to some of Europe’s elite clubs has already had an impact over the last couple of years, and the idea that FIFA would no longer be called FIFA is just plain weird. In theory, were it to come to pass, could it mean that another company could potentially come in to pick up the FIFA naming rights? Our money’s on FIFA staying as FIFA for the time being, so don’t panic too much. You may resume your gaming.

FIFA 22 is out now on all platforms.

Daniel Jones

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