With the FIFA 23 release date arriving this week, there's something of an 'end of an era' feeling among the fandom for EA Sports' football gaming franchise.

Advertisement

After all, it has been widely publicised that EA Sports will not be partnering with the world governing body of football (the real-life FIFA organisation) on any further games after FIFA 23.

Instead, the team that normally works on EA's FIFA games is planning to launch a new franchise called EA Sports FC, and we'd expect it to arrive at this sort of time next year. To learn more, read on!

Is FIFA 23 the last FIFA?

Long story short: yes, FIFA 23 will be the last FIFA-branded game that EA Sports makes for the foreseeable future.

However, EA Sports will continue making football games, with their next one due to be called EA Sports FC - and it sounds like this rebranded effort will contain a lot of familiar elements for fans.

EA promised in an official blog post: "Everything you love about our games will be part of EA Sports FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there."

EA did imply that there will be more changes than just the name, though, saying in the same blog: "This is much more than just a change of symbol - as EA Sports, we’re committed to ensuring EA Sports FC is a symbol of change. We’re dedicated to meaningfully reinvesting in the sport, and we’re excited to work with a large and increasing number of partners to expand to new authentic experiences that bring joy, inclusivity and immersion to a global community of fans."

As for FIFA, the actual governing body of real-life football said in its own statement: "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."

It sounds to us, then, like FIFA could partner up with a different developer for future gaming projects that could bear the FIFA branding. So even though EA Sports will not make another FIFA game any time soon, that wouldn't stop another developer from picking up the FIFA name rights and doing its own thing with it. If we hear anything on that front, we'll let you know.

What happened between FIFA and EA?

The exact reasons for the split between EA Sports and FIFA have not been announced publicly, and we'd be surprised if the full details were ever shared in a public forum. However, there are some interesting lines that we'd like to point out in the statements of both parties.

FIFA said in its statement, "FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and eSports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights." This, to us, implies that FIFA wanted to work with other partners, but EA might not have been open to that.

More like this

Prior to the announcement of EA Sports FC as a gaming franchise in its own right, EA said in a different statement, "We’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world." This makes it sound like EA could make a game very similar to its FIFA titles, in everything but name, by severing ties with the FIFA organisation.

Indeed, EA has pledged that EA Sports FC games will still have official team names and player likenesses. The company said, "Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA Sports FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come."

So, while FIFA 23 is the final FIFA game from EA, fans of the franchise should feel right at home with EA Sports FC from next year onwards. And it will be interesting to see who FIFA itself teams up with on future projects.

Read more on FIFA:

Follow Radio Times Gaming on Twitter for all the latest insights. Or if you're looking for something to watch, see our TV Guide.

Visit our video game release schedule for all upcoming games on consoles. Swing by our hubs for more Gaming and Technology news.

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement