Hidden among the usual list of “coming this fall” video game announcements is a big change: the extraction of “FIFA” from all future EA Sports products.
On Thursday, Giant Bomb reporter and host Jeff Grubb followed up on an October 2021 report on the branded term “EA Sports Football Club,” possibly shortened to “EA Sports FC.” Grubb wondered exactly what the EAFC might be referring to. EA Sports games come with a variety of single-player and online modes that range from cinematic story sequences to card-collecting and microtransaction frenzies. Thus, the brand could have referred to any type of game mode, or the term could have been taken for non-public reasons.
Around the same time, EA Sports sparked questions about the subject by publicly suggesting on its official blog that it might “rebrand our global EA Sports [soccer] games.” EA did all of this while retaining its licensing agreements with various football leagues and clubs. This public suggestion could have been made for a number of reasons – perhaps to pressure FIFA into is giving in to aggressive and costly licensing demands lest EA Sports take both its literal and figurative ball and go home Privately, EA executives have told staff members that its deal with FIFA is far from successful, in terms of holding back possible development and design directions for future games.
Thursday’s episode of Grubb on the ‘Grubbsnax’ livestream and podcast saw him claim the rumors were true: “EA Sports Football Club, or EA Sports FC: that’s the name.” After recalling the October 2021 brand reveal, Grubb doubled down, “That’s the name…at least, as it’s planned right now.”
Following FIFA trademark update
Grubb’s announcement came after it was discovered that FIFA’s central organization had recently beefed up its internal branding for the FIFA brand to add “video games” in a way that hadn’t previously been recorded. This decision alone was not a clear indicator of EA Sports’ divorce from FIFA, but it does suggest that FIFA, as an organization, could launch its own in-house developed, FIFA-branded football game. Exactly when this hypothetical game might debut (or if it would resemble EA Sports’ successful and controversial Ultimate Team mode) is not at all clear at press time.
Grubb also expressed surprise that EA Sports hadn’t already bothered to announce the name change. He suggested that an announcement and trailer had been “planned” at this point in March 2022. Eliminating the news in early 2022 will no doubt allow EA to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its football series less awkwardly. end of 2023.
Representatives for EA Sports did not immediately respond to questions from Ars Technica about this.