With EA and the FIFA brand set to part ways, one big question on everyone’s minds is: who will pick up the FIFA license to keep making more soccer games? One possibility is Take-Two Interactive, but for now, the company isn’t saying whether or not it’s in to be the official soccer publisher.
Speaking to CEO Strauss Zelnick ahead of today’s earnings call, IGN asked if Take-Two was considering working with FIFA in the future to expand its existing sports line-up.
“We’re definitely interested in expanding our opportunities in sports, and FIFA has a great brand and incredible clout, but we have no current plans to discuss,” Zelnick replied.
It’s understandable that Zelnick wouldn’t be able to say much for now, as if there is any discussion about a deal right now, it’s likely going on behind closed doors. But Zelnick’s praise for the brand isn’t the only reason to think Take-Two might be interested. The publisher is one of the few who could conceivably afford the reportedly very expensive license, and already has a track record of sports titles with NBA 2K, WWE 2K, plus whatever it’s working on with the NFL.
EA and FIFA announced their split earlier this month, with EA citing a desire for more creative freedom as well as the expensive license among the reasons it opted to go its own way with EA Sports FC in the future. FIFA has confirmed it will continue to release games under the FIFA name, but has not yet said who it will partner with to make this happen.
Even if Take-Two goes after the FIFA license, we won’t see it manifest for a while, given that EA still has FIFA 23 ahead. Take-Two has a busy year ahead anyway, with 18 planned releases. According to the Take-Two earnings report, six of those are “immersive core titles”: The Quarry, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, NBA 2K23, WWE 2K23, PGA Tour 2K23, and Kerbal Space Program 2 (which has been confirmed for release in early 2023 as of this morning, after previously being pushed to sometime between April 2022 and March 2023).
There are also eight mobile games in the works, a new sports title from 2K (likely its NFL arcade game), a new franchise from Private Division, Tales from the Borderlands 2, and “one new iteration of a previously-released title available for purchase”.
The publisher also gave a few updates on sales of existing games, including NBA 2K22 having sold over 10 million copies, GTA V selling over 165 million, and Red Dead Redemption 2 selling over 44 million. Oddly, there were no sales figures provided for WWE 2K22, but its sales for the first four weeks after release exceeded both WWE 2K19 and WWE 2K20 during the same period.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.