It’s the end of an era, and EA Sports has officially confirmed that FIFA 23 will be the last in its longstanding and hugely popular game series. FIFA decided to double its licensing fee to $1 billion, meaning that it doesn’t make financial sense for the developer to stick with the partnership.
Gamers need not worry, though, as they will still be able to control their favorite players on the screen. Indeed, a new franchise is about to be born, known as EA Sports FC.
Does It Matter That The Games Will No Longer Have FIFA Branding?
The great news for gamers is that EA Sports FC will not undergo many drastic changes. The studio still has licenses and partnerships in place, meaning that its portfolio is packed full of players, stadiums, teams, and leagues that it is allowed to use. It’s even planning to add more options to improve its future offerings.
The split between EA Sports and FIFA is arguably a good thing, as it’s getting harder to differentiate between real life and esports. The two strains of soccer now exist in the same spheres, with sponsors often crossing over between them. Soccer and esports betting markets can be found alongside each other, with football odds and esports odds covering similar things. For example, bettors can place over/under bets on goals scored in real-life matches and FIFA games.
By splitting off and becoming EA Sports FC, the future titles will be more in line with the esports industry. It could also allow the developers to bring in more esports-specific modes that don’t need to be grounded within the laws of real-world soccer.
EA Sports FC Could Forge Its Own Identity
When EA Sports was connected with FIFA, it had a responsibility to offer a virtual soccer experience as true to life as possible. Now, though, the California-based studio can operate without any shackles and will be free to do anything it wants with future game design.
This could mean that the upcoming EA Sports FC franchise will introduce new concepts in soccer games that have never been seen before. It could, essentially, begin to forge its own rules and game modes that completely transcend the traditional options. This is, of course, speculation at the moment, but it’s certainly possible.
End Of An Era For One Of The Longest Franchises In Gaming
There’s no doubt that this is the end of an era. The FIFA series is not only one of the best-selling sports franchises ever, but it’s also up there with the greatest game series in any genre. The games have sold more than 325 million copies to date and have generally risen in popularity over time. It’s definitely a series that today’s gamers will look back on fondly.
EA Sports FC may sound like a big move away from FIFA, but most of what makes the games so well-loved will still be in place in the new offerings. What could change, though, is the scope of these titles as the developers will be able to introduce new features if they want. The upcoming titles will also help people differentiate between esports and real-world soccer.