EA Sports, FIFA to end three decades of video-game partnership
After 30 years of partnership, Electronic Arts (EA) and governing body FIFA fail to reach an agreement to extend their cooperation.
The renowned FIFA video-game series will be rebranded EA Sports FC next year, its publisher Electronic Arts announced Tuesday in a statement, ending a three-decade relationship with football's governing body.
Launched in 1993, a generation of millions of football fans and gamers across the globe grew up playing the game and it became a huge money-spinner.
But "months of tense negotiations" between California-based Electronic Arts (EA) and governing body FIFA failed to end in an agreement to extend the partnership, The New York Times reported.
FIFA reportedly wanted the $150 million it gets annually from EA to be increased to $250 million or more.
According to EA, the game has more than 150 million player accounts, and The New York Times noted that it had generated more than $20 billion in sales over the past two decades.
World Cup will not be featured in EA Sports FC
No major changes to how the game plays are anticipated, and EA confirmed that it has retained relationships with other leagues and associations, such as UEFA, the Premier League, and Spain's La Liga. However, FIFA events such as the World Cup will not be featured.
"For nearly 30 years, we've been building the world's biggest football community with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of athlete partners, and hundreds of leagues, federations, and teams," EA chief executive Andrew Wilson pointed out.
FIFA swiftly responded by saying that it will launch "new football video games developed with third-party studios and publishers."
"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," underlined its President Gianni Infantino.