EA Sports has revealed that it would be open to renaming its record-breaking FIFA franchise as part of plans for a “very bright” future.
The market-leading simulator, which holds a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling video sports game in the world, has been in existence since 1993.
FIFA 22 has recently hit the shelves and online stores, and been snapped up by millions across the globe, but upcoming editions could get a serious makeover as developers look to heed the advice of a loyal fan base.
What has been said?
Cam Weber, group general manager of EA Sports, has said in a statement on the company’s official website: “We’re here to create the best experiences for football fans everywhere. To do that, we start by listening to our players.
“We hear consistently that what matters most is growing the global community, creating innovative football experiences across new platforms, a commitment to every level of the sport including grassroots, and accelerating the elevation of the women’s game. As a result, we have a clear vision for the future of football.
“Through years of building our global franchise, we also know that authenticity is essential to the experience. 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.
“The breadth of our partnerships and our ecosystem of licensed content will enable us to continue to bring unrivalled authenticity in our EA SPORTS football games, now and for many years to come.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games. 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.
“The future of football is very big and very bright. Our priority is to ensure we have every opportunity to continue delivering the world’s greatest interactive football experiences. Thank you again for your support and feedback on this year’s game. We look forward to creating the future of football with you.”
The history of FIFA
EA Sports joined the football video game market in 1993 with the launch of FIFA International Soccer.
It was then briefly FIFA Soccer in 1995 and 1996, before being condensed down to FIFA 97.
The World Cup of 1998 in France saw EA Sports produce an accompanying video game for the first time, with that project running through to the 2014 showpiece in Brazil.
Three versions of FIFA Street were produced between 2005 and 2008, while the main release was branded as FIFA Football from 2003 to 2005.
It has reverted back to merely ‘FIFA’ since 2006, while FIFA Mobile helped to expand the brand beyond static and handheld consoles in 2016.
FIFA 22 was released worldwide on October 1, with Paris Saint-Germain’s World Cup-winning forward Kylian Mbappe selected as the cover star for a second successive year.
Weber added on the success of that title: “Since launch, we’ve already had 9.1 million players join the game, 7.6 million Ultimate Team squads created and 460 million matches played. We will continue delivering amazing experiences throughout this season, but first - a heartfelt thank you to our incredible community of football fans.
“While we are only at the beginning of our journey with you in this year’s game, we’re also focused on where we go from here.”