Following the news that Electronic Arts will be removing FIFA from its long-running football franchise (or football, depending on where you are) due to the cost of retaining the license, FIFA released its own statement to clarify matters. Simply put, it no longer wants EA to be the only one to “manage and operate all rights”. And it seems that the game publisher is taking more of an “all-or-nothing” approach, as EA is almost synonymous with FIFA in the video game world.
“Gaming and eSports are the fastest-growing media industries in the world, with new and diverse types of games constantly being added,” reads a statement. “It is therefore critical for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximize all future opportunities for football and gaming fans. FIFA also has a duty to support its 211 member associations to take full advantage of the inherent opportunities that have arisen in recent years. The relationship and affinity that the gaming and eSports market has developed over time with the FIFA name clearly underline that football-based gaming and the FIFA name are intrinsically intertwined.”
EA has come under fire in recent years for handing in FIFA games and associated microtransactions. The company previously lost its monopoly on the Star Wars license after the disastrous launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2.
“FIFA has also identified that the overlaps between virtual sports and FIFA’s football leagues should be more closely aligned,” the statement concluded. “In this regard, FIFA is excited about using the FIFA World Cup (with four billion viewers) and the FIFA Women’s World Cup (with an audience of 1.2 billion) as platforms to launch exciting new games and eSports offerings and integrate.”
End of an era!