The famous football simulator FIFA will be renamed EA Sports FC, announced on Tuesday, May 10, the American video game publisher Electronic Arts. The decision marks the end of a partnership with an international federation amid controversy.
Released in 1993, the Fifa game under its full name EA Sports Fifa has since sold over 325 million copies, according to data released by EA in early 2021, making it the best-selling sports sim in the world.
Over nearly 30 years, the game has generated over $20 billion in sales, according to The New York Times.
Last October, several media outlets reported that the International Federation of Amateur Football (FIFA), which oversees the national federations of each member country, demanded that the package allocated to EA to use its name be increased from $150 million to $250 million.
Already dissatisfied with the partnership prior to this new request, Electronic Arts leaders have decided to scrap it and change the title of the game to a 2024 release, a 2023 vintage that will be released later this year, according to The New York Times. in the fall, retaining the FIFA name.
Despite this change, EA has maintained its agreements with all other leagues and federations that allow it to offer a choice of over 19,000 existing players, the publisher explained in a press release published on Tuesday, May 10.
With EA Sports FC, Electronic Arts wants to “build the most powerful and biggest club in the world, at the center of the fans’ minds,” said Electronic Arts chief executive Andrew Wilson, quoted in the press release.
According to EA, EA Sports Fifa has over 150 million player accounts. Electronic Arts was able to capture one of the strong trends in the video game industry, namely online games, which accounted for 76% of its turnover in the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, which ended at the end of March.
Turnover of 1.82 billion dollars for the quarter
The publisher posted on Tuesday a total turnover of $1.82 billion for the quarter, up 35%. Net bookings, the most popular figure in the video game industry, reached $1.75 billion, slightly below analysts’ expectations.
EA reported $225 million in net income for the period, well below its per-share projections. Despite this disappointment, the stock rose 1.24% in electronic trading after Wall Street closed.