Although “FIFA 22” can boast record sales, EA is considering discontinuing the series. At least as far as the naming is concerned.
Nine million players have plunged into the new football simulation since “FIFA 22” was published. The predecessor has already been clearly overtaken, according to which the latest offshoot will soon go down in EA’s company history as the most successful part of the series.
A press release from the game publisher a few days ago was all the more surprising: “With a view to the future, we are examining the idea of renaming our global EA Sports soccer games.” The result was a tremor that not only shook the fans, but also the stock market. The EA share price fell more than five percent immediately after the news became known.
The poker for licenses
It is obvious that these considerations are financially motivated. On the one hand, EA pays around 85 million euros to FIFA every year in order to be able to use the name and the licenses at all. On the other hand, the game series could use a new coat of paint. Since the contracts with FIFA expire next year, EA is using the moment to actually tackle a new project or to lower the price.
However, it is doubtful whether FIFA will respond to the pressure. The world association should also be aware that EA sells around 1.5 billion a year with the game and that this has to do with the original licenses to a large extent. After all, which player wants a Leandro Massi on the team when he can have Lionel Messi instead?
Will “FIFA 23” even be free?
If EA and FIFA do not actually come to an agreement, it is quite possible that the entire business model behind the series will have to be reconsidered. So far EA has made a lot of money with its FUT mode, in which players buy packs of cards and use them to put together their dream team.
The mode doesn’t necessarily have to be dead for that. Because possibly EA is planning a similar offshoot such as “FIFA Online 4” for its western market. The free FIFA version, which is currently only available for the Asian market, is obviously also writing record numbers and could now also become relevant for the rest of the world. How dependent one is on FIFA in this case, however, remains open.