For a while it has looked like EA will be parting ways with FIFA, meaning that the current game, FIFA 22, could be the last in the franchise.
VGC has reported the latest news to come out from the situation, involving EA CEO Andrew Wilson telling staff that FIFA has been "an impediment", with the company looking to bigger and brighter things by ending their relationship.
There was also more details around the next potential EA/FIFA game reported by VGC, meaning there could be one last hurrah for the pair.
VGC revealed that in "comments provided anonymously" to them, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said:
“As we’ve looked to the future we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA licence has actually been an impediment to that”
There has already been a war of words between EA and FIFA, with EA unhappy with how much control and revenue FIFA want over the game, and FIFA happy to look to other gaming companies to partner with.
Apparently said by Wilson in an internal company meeting in November, this is the latest in a series of statements that looks to have driven EA and FIFA apart.
The New York Times has previously reported on what could have started the rift, with FIFA supposedly wanting EA to more than double its payment for the licencing rights.
At the time it looked like FIFA was overestimating what they brought to the deal, as it is just the 'FIFA' name and rights to the World Cup that EA gained from them, with all other licences coming from other parties.
This looks to be how EA interpreted the situation too, with Wilson reported to have used the damming statement:
“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box"
FIFA 23 Is Coming
Despite the harsh words seemingly coming from EA's end, it looks like they will be releasing a game in conjunction with FIFA one last time, with FIFA 23 in the works.
In the same article, VGC stated:
VGC understands EA is currently planning to release this year’s game as FIFA 23 and include two FIFA World Cup tournaments – the men’s and women’s events – for the first time.
The current naming deal EA has with FIFA expires after this year’s Qatar World Cup, which means that a FIFA 23 release in September is still on the cards.
When negotiations for a renewed deal stalled between the two parties, EA looked to plan straight for the future, trademarking the name 'EA Sports F.C.', which is widely regarded to be the title for the game once ties are cut with FIFA.
We weren't sure if the name change would come this year or next, but the news from VGC suggests we haven't seen the final FIFA game just yet.