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FIFA Hits Out At EA, All But Confirms Partnership Is Ending

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FIFA Hits Out At EA, All But Confirms Partnership Is Ending

It looks increasingly likely that EA's flagship football-sim series, FIFA, will continue without the official license from the a-World-Cup-every-two-years-campaigning football governing body. EA's benefited from the association ever since 1993's FIFA International Soccer on the Mega Drive, with new instalments released on a yearly schedule - but finally, it seems that relationship is set to end.

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As reported at Eurogamer (hi, guys), FIFA - the IRL football body - has declared that its association with video gaming and esports must "involve more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights". Now, for years, the FIFA gaming series has been the only one with the official seal of approval from the Switzerland-headquartered organisation, the self-proclaimed highest governing body of world football. (TBF, they're not wrong.) It's very unlikely that EA, should they agree a new deal with FIFA to use the license, would want to share it with any competitors.

Watch our video of the best FIFA wins and fails, below...

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Talks between EA and FIFA to continue with the gaming series' official license are going nowhere fast, right now. EA wants to be able to use the license to expand its gaming reach across multiple tournaments and maybe even - spit - NFTs. FIFA on the other hand is asking for, say reports, a whopping billion dollars every four years to use the license. That's over double what EA pays for it now. You could buy a three or four Premier League football clubs for that kind of money.

FIFA has issued a statement that reads: "FIFA is engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts, to build out a long-term view of the gaming, esports and interactive entertainment sector." Various industry players sure sounds like it's not really fussed about continuing its exclusive arrangement with EA.

The statement adds: "It is of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans." Again, sounds a lot like FIFA aren't willing to throw all of their e... all of their balls into one basket with EA, going forward.

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EA, meanwhile, has secured its continued use of player names and likenesses thanks to a separate contract with FIFPRO, which covers 67 individual football federations including those in England, Scotland, Germany, Italy and France. So whatever the FIFA series becomes, name wise - possibly EA Sports Football, or EA Sports FC - the games will still have tens of thousands of proper players, with proper names, with no need to download update files before starting a new season. Alas, poor Henry Cane, we never knew you.

Featured Image Credit: EA

Mike Diver
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