Electronic Arts have confirmed that they will stop making the popular FIFA video game series in 2023.
EA will continue to make football video games, but after FIFA 23 they will come under a new banner, EA Sports FC. A subdivision of EA Sports made the first FIFA game in 1993 and has been in charge of the franchise ever since. While FIFA is one of the most profitable brands in gaming history, the cost of the game's licence was one of the reasons why the drastic decision was made.
While the general gameplay mechanics and core game modes will be similar to what players have come to know and love in recent years, the ending of the partnership is set to see the change bring with it a broader range of play, as the rise of esport continues with live in-game events growing more popular.
A statement read: "I want to start by thanking this incredible community of more than 150 million fans for helping build the world’s biggest football entertainment platform - EA SPORTS FIFA. After nearly 30 years of creating genre-defining interactive football experiences, we will soon begin an exciting new era.
"Next year, EA SPORTS FC will become the future of football from EA SPORTS. 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."
The news of the name change was also announced on EA's social media platforms, with developer revealing that it would now be partnering with Nike. A post on Twitter read: "Football, meet Future. We're proud to be partnering with #EASPORTSFC to expand the future of the beautiful game. More to come July 2023. You ready?"
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EA Sports vice-president David Jackson told the BBC: "The world of football and the world of entertainment are changing, and they clash within our product. In the future our players will demand of us the ability to be more expansive in that offering. At the moment, we engage in play as a primary form of interactive experience.
"Soon, watching and creating content are going to be equally as important for fans. Under the licensing conventions that we had agreed with Fifa 10 years ago, there were some restrictions that weren't going to allow us to be able to build those experiences for players."
Fans can also rest assured that they will still able to play as Premier League teams like Liverpool, who have been fictitiously called Merseyside Red on Pro Evolution Soccer, FIFA's rival game which does not have the licence. EA have signed up 19,000 athletes, 700 teams, 100 stadiums and more than 30 leagues for future games.
FIFA 23 will hit the shelves this autumn, while the first edition of EA Sports FC is expected to release late next year.