13 Oct 2021 6:03 PM +00:00

FIFA name change looks imminent as dispute between EA and FIFA continues

Most of us who care about FIFA were probably stuck into FIFA 22, not worrying about what will come in the future and playing as much as we can from the new release.

However, news has been coming out that the game we know and love could be due a name change, which has got the community talking.

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Find out all we know about the situation, including what's been happening and the potential name change, below.

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The initial statement

What started the furore was a statement from EA Sports Group General Manager, Cam Weber:

"As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games. This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world."

On the surface, this seemed a catastrophe, with many people assuming the partnership between EA and FIFA would mean we end up with fewer club and player rights, but this is not the case.

Fewer rights

We have seen the damage that fewer club rights can lead to, with Serie A being a prime example, after EA lost the rights to Konami for a few teams.

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Generic team names and kits really stick out, after being used to more authentic play.

But this would not be impacted by a split from FIFA, as that part of the game is sorted through FIFPRO.

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The deal that matters

It was announced that EA and FIFPRO have agreed on a long-term renewal of their current partnership, with FIFPRO being the main body that gets the player, club and stadium rights for the game.

David Jackson, the VP of EA SPORTS Brand, had this to say:

“Our players regularly remind us that one of the most important aspects of an EA SPORTS experience is the deep immersion created through authentic use of the world’s greatest leagues, teams and talent -- it’s how we continue to uniquely blur the lines between the digital and physical worlds of football. FIFPRO will continue to be an important partner as we build the next generation of EA SPORTS football experiences for players around the world”.

He won't be as worried about a name change for the game, as he knows that the deal with FIFPRO is the more important factor in bringing fans the play they want.

End of an era

The name change of an EA Sports title called FIFA would come about because EA and FIFA cannot come to an agreement on money going forward.

Discussions on a new deal have been happening for two years, with FIFA wanting to more than double their current income from the game.

FIFA also wants to limit other features EA wants in the game, including things like highlights of actual games.

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FIFA not defined by FIFA

Despite FIFA (the organisation) becoming synonymous with FIFA (the game), FIFA (the game) is not reliant on FIFA (the organisation).

The license with FIFA allows EA to use the organization’s name, logo and the rights to the World Cup, so if a deal isn't met, there won't be much difference in the game.

The new name

The biggest change to the game will be the loss of its FIFA title.

EA has registered two trademarks for the phrase "EA Sports F.C.", with this being the most likely new name.