Gianni Infantino, the re-elected president of football’s international governing body, FIFA, has promised that the organization’s take on the FIFA game franchise will be the best game in the world.
In his words, "The new FIFA game - the FIFA 25, 26, 27 and so on - will always be the best egame for any girl or boy, we will have news on this very soon."
According to Martyn Ziegler, the Times’ chief sports reporter who broke the news, Infantino made this statement at a press conference following confirmation of his unopposed re-election. The 52-year-old Swiss administrator will serve another four-year term until 2027, which will take his time at the helm of the footballing federation to three terms and 11 years.
Infantino says FIFA will go head-to-head with EA Sports by launching rival video game (EA Sports refused cash demands to keep FIFA's name)
"The new FIFA game - the FIFA 25, 26, 27 and so on - will always be the best egame for any girl or boy, we will have news on this very soon."
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 16, 2023
Last May, EA Sports announced it was dropping the FIFA brand name after the release of the FIFA 23 game in late 2022. The video game company made the decision after negotiations over a licensing fee to continue using the FIFA brand name hit a brick wall.
According to reports, FIFA, under Infantino’s leadership, demanded a much larger portion of the game’s earnings from the video game publisher despite the fact it contributed nothing to the franchise apart from its brand name. EA Sports announced it will rebrand the long-running video game franchise as EA Sports FC.
Following news of the split, Infantino stated, "I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST."
EA Sports and FIFA’s partnership lasted 30 years with the two originally entering an agreement in 1993. Within that period, the FIFA video game series became one of the best-selling video game franchises in the world as well as the top football video game.
Given this history, there's little doubt fans of the video game franchise feel disappointed by the fractured partnership. But, if FIFA can muster a credible video game that will rival EA Sports’ version, then the decision to end the partnership, given the competition that will ensue, might be in the best interest of the consumers.
FIFA will have it all to do, though, since EA Sports still has "more than 300 individual licensed partners, giving players access to more than 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world." So, while the loss of the FIFA brand name might hurt the publisher’s sales, it might turn out to be just a minor bump.
Besides, FIFA has no experience with video game development and given the resources and experience required to build a video game on the scale of the FIFA games, it might find the task a bit harder than it imagined. The organization’s best bet is to outsource the development to an external game studio. However, there is currently no indication that FIFA’s leadership has found such a partner.