Over the past few weeks, we have been getting news that FIFA and EA are looking to cut ties, throwing much speculation around as to the future of one of EA's flagship titles.
FIFA has been so synonymous with the game that it's easy to forget they are different entities.
So what does the split mean for the future of footballing games, what can we expect, and should we be worried about EA's future - read on to find out.
A license to kill... the market
The biggest hurdle that comes to mind when thinking that these two are going their separate ways is, what rights to licenses will EA have for future games?
We've already seen what happens when another party gets involved, with Konami snapping up exclusive deals with Italian teams that has seen us left with unofficial kits and a less authentic
Juventus, sorry, Piemonte Calcio team, amongst others.
If the future of EA's football game was going that way, it would be a disaster.
However, the only exclusive rights EA gain from their partnership with FIFA is the use of the FIFA name, logo and World Cup - we won't really be missing much.
Yes, it will be weird at first not referring to the game as FIFA, but ultimately that will be the biggest change - same players, same teams, same stadiums, same, well, everything basically!
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Despite FIFA not referring to this in its own statement, it appears the split is mainly down to money.
According to an article in the New York Times, FIFA wanted to more than double the amount EA paid the body for its involvement, to over $1 billion every four years.
In addition, FIFA also wanted more say about the direction EA could take the game, with EA wanting to do things such as show highlights of real-world games and use of NFTs.
For a player of the game, who doesn't have much interest in the business side of things, this just appears to be a money grab from FIFA and doesn't reflect well on them.
Not only that, but it seems FIFA feel in more of a position of power than it actually is.
As mentioned above, the deal involves very few rights, so the fact FIFA feels it can throw its weight about shows a view of self-importance, an inflated sense of self that doesn't exist.
Standing on your own two feet
There should be a massive positive that comes from this split, and that is more competition.
EA has made slower upgrades to their game over the years, without a full-on overhaul (which we are now starting to see on Next Gen), knowing they have almost monopolised the football games space.
Konami's recent effort, the free-to-play eFootball, was set to be a challenger to FIFA 22, but that looks to be a slow burner.
FIFA made it perfectly clear in the statement how it feels about the situation:
"The future of gaming and esports for football stakeholders must involve more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights."
FIFA is looking to start its own football game, or join up with another party (Konami, maybe), to make sure they are still involved in the market.
As FIFA players, we hope this potential game turns out well, as it will be the much-needed push EA has been waiting for to really take their game to the next level.
Other football games are currently in development, such as UFL and Football Player 2023, set to give more options than ever before for players to choose from.
Plus, old reliable Football Manager will always be waiting in the background if EA let their standards slip, with FM the most comprehensive football game out there.
A brighter future
Overall, the FIFA and EA split is nowhere near as damaging as it may have seemed.
FIFA isn't looking in the best spot at the moment, but we hope it still gets involved with football games in the future.
EA looks to have already started planning, trademarking the name "EA Sports FC" and renewing their deal with FIFPro, who do hold many of the rights needed to produce an authentic game.
A new name for EA's football game and more competition could mean next year we get the biggest upgrade between games we've ever seen.