Last summer, both EA Sports and FIFA, world football’s governing body, had some earth-shattering news for gamers worldwide. The pair of them announced that their three-decade-long partnership would be ending at the culmination of the 2022/23 football season. As such, the beloved FIFA video game franchise as we knew it would be no more, and now we can look forward to EA Sports FC.
The reasons for the breakdown in contract negotiations were primarily since Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, wanted a whopping $1 billion for a new four-year deal. As we have seen from Netflix’s recent “FIFA Uncovered” documentary, the men in suits that run the planet’s favorite sport will do anything and everything to get their hands on as much cash as possible. One only needs to look back at the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to the tiny Arabian Gulf State of Qatar as proof of that.
However, the fact that Infantino’s greed has affected a beloved video game franchise will not go down well with millions of both football fans and gamers alike. The franchise has evolved so much in recent years that online bookmakers such as Bovada now provide eSports betting, and FIFA was one of the pioneers of that evolution. But luckily for gamers, EA Sports have confirmed that the series will live on following a rebrand. As mentioned, the new franchise will now be known as EA Sports FC, and here are three things we can expect to see in the upcoming release.
What Can We Expect to See from EA Sports FC
All Of Your Favorite Leagues
Despite EA Sports not retaining the official rights to all of FIFA’s assets, they have still managed to secure deals with Europe’s top five leagues. That means that the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, and French Ligue 1 will all be playable in EA Sports FC. We can also expect to see the majority of those divisions’ stadiums in the game as well, with EA Sports already having every top-flight English, German, and Spanish stadium already available.
And for those of you that enjoy leading a club through the English footballing pyramid, fear not. The EFL will also be fully licensed once again in the upcoming release, so you can lead clubs such as Salford City and Northampton Town from League Two to the Premier League once again. You may also get the chance to lead Ryan Reynolds’ Wrexham AFC through the divisions as well, providing they manage to secure promotion from the National League this term.
Once you have led your favorite club to the promised land, why stop there? The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League will all still be fully licensed, meaning that Reynolds’ Red Dragons may very well become the best team in Europe, virtually at least.
FIFA Ultimate Team has revolutionized the world of gaming. EA Sports was one of the first to realize that they could make so much money from their video games by implementing in-game purchases in the form of loot boxes – or “packs” – as they’re known in the game. They created the adored game mode back in 2009, and it has since become a money spinner for the California-based company. And it isn’t going anywhere.
That’s because Ultimate Team is purely a creation of EA Sports, and it now has an affiliation with FIFA whatsoever. The game’s producer has Ultimate Team in both the currently named FIFA as well as their American football franchise Madden. The failure to agree to a new rights deal with Infantino and world football’s governing body will not affect Ultimate Team in any way, although we will have to stop referring to it as FUT… admittedly EAFCUT doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Despite the fact that FIFA and EA Sports won’t be collaborating together next season, Gianni Infantino has announced that there will be a new video game under the name of FIFA 24, and the franchise will indeed live on. It remains to be seen which producer is willing to fork out the eye-watering billion-dollar asking price, as well as agree to work with FIFA, which could be somewhat of a poisoned chalice. One would imagine that 2K Sports are the front-runners to secure the rights though.
The New York City-based company already has two market-leading sports games in the form of NBA 2K and WWE 2K, which recently overthrew Hogwarts Legacy as the best-selling video game in the United Kingdom. As such, they have plenty of money to offer FIFA to secure the rights to the franchise, and they also have an Ultimate Team-like game mode ready and waiting to go. As we have mentioned though whether they are willing to stump up $1bn remains to be seen.
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