That’s according to a blog post by the developer, which announced the release of FIFA 22 while also addressing EA Sports’ future plans for the FIFA game series.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games,” the blog post says. “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.”
At the same time, EA acknowledged the significance of branded competitions and national leagues, as well as globally popular clubs, stadiums, and players to the “authenticity” of its FIFA game series.
“Through years of building our global franchise, we also know that authenticity is essential to the experience,” the blog post adds. “That’s why we focus so much energy on the collective strength of over 300 individual licensed partners that give us access to 17,000+ athletes across 700+ teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world.
“We continually invest in the partnerships and licenses that are most meaningful to players, and because of that, our game is the only place you can authentically play in the iconic UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONMEBOL Libertadores, Premier League, Bundesliga, and LaLiga Santander, among many others.”
What does this signify for the beautiful game?
It’s hard to imagine EA’s soccer simulation franchise without the FIFA name, but it appears that is precisely what the developer is contemplating now.
However, what does this signify for the game’s content?
The blog post states that the rights to use the FIFA brand are distinct from other official partnerships and licenses, implying that aside from a name change and the lack of considerable FIFA branding, we won’t notice much difference in the game.
It’s good to know that changing the FIFA name won’t have a big impact on most in-game features, but it seems odd – and for which there has been no explanation from EA. After all, EA’s soccer game is associated with the FIFA trademark – but maybe that’s the idea.
EA is probably paying a lot for the use of the FIFA name; as a result, dropping it might save money while also allowing more flexibility.
Because FIFA is such a long-standing franchise, it’s arguably outgrown its name, gaining a following that will most likely follow it.
It isn’t certain that the FIFA name will change, but with EA Sports being so open about it, we would guess that it will; nevertheless, what the new name will be remains uncertain. Regardless, it appears like FIFA 22 might be the final ‘FIFA’ game.