Update: FIFA 23 might be renamed EA Sports FC, according to a new trademark filing.
As spotted by VGC (opens in new tab), EA filed an application in the UK and the EU for something called ‘EA Sports FC’ last week. The trademarks were filed shortly before the company revealed it was exploring the possibility of ending its decades-long naming rights agreement with FIFA.
It’s worth noting that EA Sports Football Club was a social feature that existed in the franchise as early as 2011, and ran until 2020. That could mean that the trademark is being renewed in an attempt to resurrect a version of that feature, but could also lend the new name an element of recognition within the series’ established community.
Original story: EA has surprisingly announced that it’s considering a new name for the FIFA series.
The move comes mere days after rival Konami launched eFootball 2022 (below) in place of its long-standing Pro Evolution Soccer franchise – to furious social media feedback and disastrous reviews.
EA’s statement came as part of a press release celebrating FIFA 22’s opening weekend, which tallied 9.1 million players, 7.6 million Ultimate Team squads and 460 million matches.
“While we are only at the beginning of our journey with you in this year’s game, we’re also focused on where we go from here,” wrote EA Sports GM Cam Weber.
“We’re here to create the best experiences for football fans everywhere… As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games. This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”[Away from gaming, FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association, and is the worldwide governing body of all things kickabout-related.]
The move would be even more shocking than Konami’s eFootball rebrand – after all, PES itself was pre-dated by the International Superstar Soccer name. In contrast, EA’s football series has been released under the FIFA banner since its 1993 inception on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.
The timing is curious too. Back in 2013, EA signed a deal with FIFA which ends in 2022 – covering management games in addition to its annual football sim. By going public in the above manner, EA could be preparing the buying masses for FIFA 23 to emerge under a new name, or it may be hoping the threat of losing the series drives down the asking price of re-upping the worldwide license.
Individual deals, such as tie-ins with UEFA, the Premier League, and Serie A, aren’t affected by the FIFA contact. All those competitions will therefore remain in FIFA 23, EA Sports Football 23, Rooney Soccer 23, or whatever else the next installment is called.
FIFA 22 is out now. Just getting started? Then jump on over to our FIFA 22 tips.