FIFA and EA announced the dissolution of their collaboration in May of last year. The news shook the already complex digital football exclusive rights market, which has long been dominated by the long-running battle between Konamis eFootball (previously Pro Evolution Soccer) and the FIFA series.
EA said that the game would be renamed EA Sports FC and would replace the yearly FIFA release, starting approximately September 2023 (based on historical launch dates). The divorce apparently arose from FIFA trying to more than treble its $150 million (£119 million) licencing charge.
The technological aspects of the game are still a mystery to us and most likely wont be until EAs preview, which is typically conducted in July. But there are already many repercussions for the US gaming behemoth. One of them is: What will happen when thousands of fans and parents look up the most recent FIFA online this Christmas?
In order to get its new brand name in front of as many people as possible, EA has started a marketing campaign. A component of that campaign was an activation that saw the opening of a brand-new football pitch for a primary school in London that was honouring Ian Wright and David Rocastle, two sporting icons. The Premier League Foundation and Rocky and Wrighty Arena collaborated to build this new facility.
According to David Jackson, VP of Brand at EA Sports FC, "We believe its essential to instill love for the sport and video game fandom at a young age, and we want to facilitate access for young people by creating a safe space where they can play football and cultivate what has become a lifetime passion for many."
However, the question that many esports industry watchers have is how the competitive environment surrounding EAs game will change, particularly in the European market where the competition is severe.