FIFA, the governing body of football, and the license behind the biggest sports game in the world, has suggested that it’s open to working with new video games companies.
A new statement titled “FIFA set to widen gaming and esports portfolio” begins by asserting that: “FIFA is bullish and optimistic about its long-term future in gaming and eSports following a comprehensive and strategic assessment of the gaming and interactive entertainment market.”
In what can only be seen as a direct shot at EA, the post continues: “The future of gaming and eSports for football stakeholders must involve more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights.”
Referring to the potential of working with other developers on games, the statement adds: “Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments.”
The post goes on to state that “FIFA is engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts, to build out a long-term view of the gaming, eSports and interactive entertainment sector.”
Notably, FIFA 22, the most recent game in the franchise, is not mentioned at all in the release.
This is the latest in a series of back and forth statements between FIFA and EA, the developers of the FIFA video game which has dominated the footballing video game genre for decades.
On October 7, an EA press release revealed that the publisher was reviewing its licensing agreement with FIFA. The statement implies that were the company to cut ties with FIFA and rename the series, it would still retain all its other league, player and stadium licensing because these are reportedly separate from the FIFA licence.
“Through years of building our global franchise, we also know that authenticity is essential to the experience,” the statement reads.
“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.”
This was followed on October 11 with the news that EA had filed multiple trademark applications for ‘EA Sports FC’. It was also revealed that the publisher has extended its deal with the football players union FIFPro.
EA’s current ten-year FIFA naming deal expires after next year’s Qatar World Cup.