It’s increasingly starting to look like Electronic Arts’ next football (or soccer) title won’t be called FIFA.
Following reports that EA wanted to drop FIFA due to exorbitant licensing costs, the football organization issued a statement of its own explaining that it no longer wants one company “controlling and exploiting” the license. Now, EA has told Financial Times in no uncertain terms that it doesn’t think it’ll be using FIFA going forward, and it doesn’t anticipate losing players over the name change. The publisher has already filed a trademark for “EA Sports F.C.”
“We are not certain that we will move forward with FIFA as a naming rights partner,” EA executive David Jackson told Financial Times. He added that “the name FIFA lives in the minds of many young players around the world,” but the series has “lots and lots of players” and EA doesn’t “see a reason why that would change in the future.”
“We’re not naive, things can change,” Jackson continued. “But we don’t foresee major risks so long as we continue to meet players’ expectations in terms of the value of the entertainment they receive from the products we build.”
EA’s FIFA games have come under intense scrutiny in recent years due to microtransactions. At one point, the company was investigating an employee who was accused of selling rare FIFA Ultimate team cards for cash. That said, FIFA reigns supreme every year in terms of number of players as well as commercial performance. EA has yet to face any real competition when it comes to its yearly sports titles.[Source: FT]