Leaving FIFA license could be the end of EA – Reader Feature

EA Sports FC: what if it fails? (photo: EA)

A reader tries to predict how successful EA Sports FC will be and what will happen to EA if The new FIFA soccer game is a great success.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen the news that EA will stop using the FIFA name after this year and rename the series to EA Sports FC. Whether you care about football or not, this is clearly a massive change from the status quo, given that FIFA is almost always the best-selling game of the year in the UK. What I don’t think many people realize is how big of a risk it is for EA. That’s not something they want to stress as it risks making them look weak, but if this goes wrong their biggest source of income will be Pro Evolution Soccer.

The other big lesson from all of this is the impressive arrogance of the FIFA organization, which clearly thinks the only reason games are successful is because they have their name on the box. Using that logic, they seem to think that if they make their own game, with the same name, it will enjoy the same level of success.

Unless it’s bad eFootball levels it will obviously work reasonably well and at best for FIFA most will end up buying it because they assume it’s the same series EA used to make. If that’s the case, EA is in serious trouble, especially if the FIFA game turns out to be any good. Let’s face it, EA’s FIFA games aren’t bad, but they’re not so amazing that no one can make a better football game than them.

For that reason, I hope this year’s FIFA 23 will be the best for a long time, because EA will want to make the quality of their game clear, so that people will want to stick with them after the name change. In that sense, the last few years of being afloat will hurt, because I don’t think many people claim to be a FIFA fan no matter how much they play it.

It is successful because it has all the official kits and players and clubs; For many people, how it’s played is actually a secondary consideration, it’s just the only game in town, so there’s no point in worrying about it. So if the FIFA game turns out to be any good, EA will be in deep trouble. If it turns out to be better than EA Sports FC, then it’s an endgame scenario.

However, at this point, the biggest question for me is whether the FIFA game will still be fully licensed. I think many are surprised to learn that the FIFA license does not give you anything more than the name and the World Cup. All clubs, players, kits, etc. come from other separate licenses: more than 300 according to EA.

Are these arrangements exclusive? That is the question. If they are, EA has things fixed. If they aren’t, FIFA can just jump in and buy them, leaving EA with no advantage. For some reason, I feel like they are arrogant enough to only buy the bare minimum even if it was all available to them, but that’s just a hunch.

However, my point is that there is a chance that EA will come out as the loser here. If FIFA is more competent than it seems, if you team up with a good developer and make a great game, who will need EA Sports FC?

If EA’s FIFA game is no longer their main moneymaker, what else do they have? Madden, sure, but not Battlefield or any of its other non-sports games. Free Apex Legends is its only other big source of income, but it’s still a peanut compared to FIFA.

Not only is FIFA a hard game to like, but EA is a company that’s hard to feel sorry for, even when going up against FIFA. Would you have paid double the usual amount for the FIFA name if you were the head of EA? Probably not. However, making that decision could have major ramifications for the entire gaming industry and it will be very interesting to see what the next year’s crop of new soccer games will be and how well they will sell…

By reader Ansel


The reader feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500-600 word reader feature at any time, which, if used, will be posted in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and Follow us on twitter.

MORE: FIFA says it will make its own FIFA 24 game and it will be ‘the best’

MORE: FIFA 23 will be the last game as EA Sports FC takes over instead

MORE: FIFA 22 is going cross-play but only for next-gen friendlies

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

For more stories like this, check out our games page.

Leave a Comment