Video Game Maker EA Sports and FIFA Part Ways

EA Sports, FIFA, partnership, end

FIFA, the international soccer governing body, won’t be working alongside Electronic Arts for the first time in nearly 30 years, The New York Times reported Tuesday (May 10).

The deal has ended what made for both a wildly popular game and a cultural touchstone. It was supposed to end after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, though it will now run through to the end of the Women’s World Cup next summer.

But after that’s done, there will be 150 million FIFA players that will have to get used to a new name for the series, as it’s being rebranded as EA Sports FC. The NYT said the game won’t see too much of a change, with most of the famous clubs and stars still being playable through separate licensing deals.

The report noted the heavy weight of the rebranding, which will see FIFA’s long-established name moving away from the video game series that had defined many players’ lives, from Premier League professionals to casual fans.

The NYT also noted that many, even those without any relation to the sport, knew the stars and teams via the digital FIFA doppelgangers. That helped to create an important partnership for both EA Sports and FIFA, with the game making over $20 billion in sales in the last few decades.

Late last year, PYMNTS wrote that Visa backed FIFA women’s soccer as the first partner for the Women’s World Cup 2023.

See also: Visa Teams with FIFA to Support Women’s World Cup 2023

The investment will build on the commitment to “elevate the sport and promote greater equality.”

“Women are a force to be reckoned with — on the pitch, as small business owners, and as drivers of a majority of consumer purchases,” said Lynne Biggar, Visa’s chief marketing officer. “We know that when we support the success of women in sport, we support the success of women everywhere.”