Games

EA Sports will no longer produce FIFA video games; Fifa 23 is the final edition.

Electronic Arts has announced that it would no longer produce Fifa-branded football games.

Its EA Sports section created the first FIFA game in 1993 and has run the series since then.

It is one of the most profitable gaming brands ever, but the expense of the license was one of the factors in the decision to end the collaboration.

EA will continue to develop football video games, but they will be branded as EA Sports FC starting in 2023.

While the gaming mechanics and main styles of play will be comparable to what gamers have come to anticipate in recent years, the title will likely provide a greater range of other experiences, in addition to the ability to play.

David Jackson, vice president of EA Sports, told the BBC that the studio believes it is time to take a fresh approach in order to create a “future brand.”

Although the specifics of those experiences are still unknown, it’s reasonable to think that being able to watch real-life matches, participate in Fortnite-style live in-game events, and access a wider selection of branded in-game merchandise are all things EA would like to be able to provide.

“The worlds of football and entertainment are shifting, and they collide within our offering,” Jackson explains.

“In the future, our gamers will expect us to be able to provide a more diverse offering.” We now use play as our major type of interactive experience. For fans, viewing and generating content will soon be equally vital.

“There were some limits in the licensing standards that we had negotiated with FIFA ten years ago that wouldn’t enable us to construct those experiences for players.”

The success of the Fifa franchise may be attributed in part to comprehensive license arrangements that enabled for realistic renderings of club uniforms, players’ faces, and stadiums on screen.

For years, players have been allowed to play as Premier League teams like as Liverpool, although competing games such as Pro Evolution Soccer included fake sides such as Merseyside Red.

EA claims to have signed up 19,000 athletes, 700 teams, 100 stadiums, and over 30 leagues for future games, indicating that they will continue to deliver real-world experiences.

The Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and UEFA are among them.

However, this implies that games like FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, which were launched to coincide with the World Cup, will no longer be created by EA.

There will be one last FIFA game, with this year’s edition – FIFA 23 – going on sale in the autumn, as is customary.

In late 2023, EA Sports FC will be released.

EA is one of the games companies that has faced fan backlash over its approach to in-game purchases. No doubt some of the questions about their new franchise will surround the financial model and plans for monetization, which are yet to be revealed. The move is a gamble for EA, whose fortunes have been closely tied with FIFA for decades, and Jackson accepts that, saying: “It’s a big moment for the organization.

Interactive football experiences have been central to what has made EA Sports successful over the last 30 years.” Making sure the majority of the millions of current FIFA players switch to the new title will be vital for the company to be able to maintain important licensing partnerships in the future.

They are an essential part of its success. Electronic Arts struck the last licensing deal with FIFA in 2013 and it has been reported that football’s governing body had put the price of the license up significantly – this time to more than $1billion dollars per four-year world cup cycle. When asked if moving away from FIFA was purely a financial decision, Jackson said “it wasn’t ultimately down to money” but accepted it did play a crucial role in the decision-making process.

“Money plays a critical role in most negotiations, but the reason we are doing this is to create the very best experiences we can for both players and partners. As part of that you consider whether or not your investment in one place is better or worse than an investment in another.“

On balance, over time, we felt that our investments were better suited in spaces that were most important to players, like the different experiences we can now build in the game. For our partners, it’s the way we can welcome and engage them into a platform that talks to 150 million young football fans around the world.”

As for football’s governing body, last year it said it was engaging with developers, investors and analysts to come up with its future strategy for gaming, eSports and interactive entertainment, indicating that knew this change was coming for some time.

The BBC has reached out to FIFA for comment, but has yet to hear back.

“People will always be concerned about change at first,” Jackson said.

“There will be just two things that players will miss: the name and a World Cup piece of material every four years.” Aside from that, virtually nothing will change about the present FIFA goods that fans know and love.

“The most straightforward thing we could have done was to maintain the status quo.” FIFA has been a really popular game throughout the years, but there are times when you have to think about the future, and we believe that developing our own brand is the greatest option for us.”

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