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Friday, May 20, 2022

EA Sports and FIFA end partnership, both eyeing new video games

ZURICH – Electronic Arts will cease making the hugely successful FIFA video game in its current name, marking a split in one of football’s most successful and lucrative partnerships, after the sides failed to strike a new licensing deal.

Instead, the California company said on Tuesday that EA Sports FC will be introduced from 2023, as it makes the final game in partnership with FIFA later this year.

Licensing rights to the game earns FIFA about $150 million annually – its single-largest commercial earner with an estimated $7 billion in total revenue from 2019-2022 – although a statement published hours after FIFA announced it was losing that income. I struck a derogatory tone.

FIFA promised that “new non-simulation games[that]are already in production” and would launch ahead of the 2022 World Cup starting in Qatar in November.

FIFA said it plans to build a “new gaming model” and cited the recent launch of its streaming service FIFA+.

“I can assure you that the only authentic, genuine game with the name FIFA will be the very best available to gamers and football fans,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in the statement.

EA has been producing FIFA games for nearly 30 years and its avid association with millions of gamers around the world helped brand the Zurich-based organization when it was tarnished in 2015 amid a wave of arrests by football executives. .

For the younger generation, FIFA means video games rather than a sporting institution.

Although EA Sports will be unable to include FIFA content, including the FC World Cup, it retains licensing deals with major football competitions, including the English Premier League and the Champions League organized by UEFA.

EA’s announcement showed the strength of those partnerships, with heated comments from officials from the Premier League, UEFA and Spain’s La Liga, while a coordinated release of tweets posted by dozens of soccer clubs used the slogan “We’re in the Club”. Did. EA Sports FC brand.

“We are grateful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson. “The future of global football is very bright, and football around the world has never been stronger.”

Wilson promised “an even more innovative and authentic experience for a growing football audience”, while its soon-to-be rival FIFA spoke of creating “new, interactive experiences for fans around the world”.

“The interactive gaming and e-sports sector is on a path of unmatched growth and diversification,” said Infantino. “FIFA’s strategy is to ensure that we make the most of all future options and ensure a wide range of products and opportunities for gamers, fans, member associations and partners.”

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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