EA has reportedly greenlit decision to rename FIFA ‘EA Sports Football Club’
This year’s FIFA could end EA’s near-30-year association with the football brand
Electronic Arts has reportedly greenlit the decision to rebrand its FIFA series of games as ‘EA Sports Football Club’, it’s claimed.
That’s according to journalist Jeff Grubb who claimed on his premium Giant Bomb show Grubbsnax that sources had confirmed to him that the long-running sports franchise will indeed be renamed.
“EA Sports Football Club, EA Sports FC, that’s the name of the game,” he said, before adding that the move comes after much-documented tension between the football governing body and EA.
“I saw trademarks for it, I thought that could be just a feature like an online mode, [but] I asked around about it [and] that’s it, that’s the name,” Grubb said, referencing the previously discovered ‘EA FC’ trademarks that have previously surfaced.
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He added: “They are ready to move on, they have another name lined up.” Grubb speculated that we “should have seen a trailer by now”, he went on to say. “We should hear about it here pretty soon”.
Previously, FIFA games typically begin their marketing cycle around June.
EA’s current ten-year FIFA naming deal is understood to expire after November’s Qatar World Cup, and VGC’s own sources have indicated that EA had been pushing ahead to call this year’s game FIFA 23 – potentially the last to use the brand.
According to documents seen by VGC, EA has also been planning to include two FIFA World Cup tournaments in the next game – a first for the series – covering this year’s women’s and men’s events, potentially adding credence to the possibility it will use the FIFA name one last time.
It was first revealed in October last year that EA was “exploring the idea” of renaming the blockbuster games franchise due to a naming rights agreement with world football’s governing body FIFA.
According to a New York Times report published the same month, negotiations between the pair stalled due to EA’s desire for more rights, and FIFA’s alleged demand for EA to double its payment for the licence to $2.5 billion over the next decade.
More recently, in comments provided anonymously to VGC, EA CEO Andrew Wilson seem to imply in an internal meeting that the company was indeed ready to move on from the FIFA license and could even thrive without it.
In his most revealing comments yet on the status of licence negotiations with the footballing body, Wilson told staff that the FIFA license had been “an impediment” to EA’s ambitions for the game series.
Wilson claimed that the football governing body was holding EA back from providing players with long-desired modes, going as far as calling FIFA ‘just the name on the box’.
“Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem more broadly… our fans are telling us they want us to go and participate in that space,” he said.
“Our FIFA licence has actually precluded us from doing a lot of this stuff. Again, FIFA is just the name on the box, but they’ve precluded our ability to be able to branch into the areas that players want.”