EA Sports have wasted no time when it comes to securing new deals ahead of FIFA 23, with the most recent announcement sparking major debate about the future of sports gaming.
EA has already announced a long-term naming rights deal with La Liga, with a deal to show Premier League highlights also struck.
Now, with a new collaboration revealed with Marvel Entertainment, we want to take a look at what all this could mean for the future of both FIFA and EA Sports FC.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
The recent collaboration between Marvel Entertainment and EA Sports has got us thinking about the future of football gaming.
The deal will see Marvel illustrators create bespoke designs for FUT Heroes in FIFA 23, with impressive designs already showcased.
This collaboration is a dive into fresh waters for EA and potentially showcases their intentions moving forward.
Whilst we have seen smaller collaborations in the past, working with major brands to improve fan experience could become a key part of EA's split-off game, EA Sports FC.
In previous years, EA has shown that they aren't a company that is looking to stand still, a criticism that could be waged at FIFA.
Instead, FIFA Ultimate Team has been used as an expansion point for EA, collaborating in the past with bands, charities and content creators.
The arrival of a behemoth like Marvel Entertainment showcases that EA is very much ready to expand the FIFA audience further, something we're expecting to see enhanced once EA Sports FC rolls around.
Whilst we aren't expecting the new game to drift too far from its roots as a football experience, we wouldn't be surprised if further collaborations with major brands - as we see in Fortnite with different skins etc. - was seen in EA Sports FC.
Expanding into new markets is important for any game to grow, and EA is already aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
Recently announced deals have laid the groundwork for EA to expand into their new market, with the naming rights for La Liga and highlights rights for the Premier League showcasing how EA Sports FC could be a much more rounded footballing experience.
Instead of simply being able to play games, we could see real-world highlights and even full matches potentially being broadcast within the game.
Whilst EA are certainly moving to set themselves apart, where does this leave FIFA?
Betting on Authenticity
When we look back at the slightly arrogant words of FIFA president Gianni Infantino following the announcement of the FIFA and EA split, we can read between the lines and see that a major difference was already foretold.
'I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans'
The word 'authentic' is key to this statement, with the FIFA president potentially hinting at EA's intention to introduce more playful elements to future titles, as seen with the Marvel deal.
FIFA could look to set itself apart from EA Sports FC by simply becoming an authentic football game that does away with arcade modes and instead focuses on becoming a raw and rounded football experience.
Whilst this would be a bold move - given that games are moving in a different direction - it would certainly be one way to stand out from the crowd.
As we've seen within the FIFA community, there's plenty of appetite for both whacky features and authentic experiences, meaning there may well be room for both of these footballing behemoths at the top of the gaming world.