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EA Sports ends FIFA video game partnership after three decades

Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund during a press conference on EA Sports Japan’s new FIFA 16 game on July 6, 2015. (Getty Images)

The hugely popular FIFA video game series will be rebranded as EA Sports FC next year, publisher Electronic Arts announced on Tuesday, ending a three-decade relationship with the Football Association.

Launched in 1993, a generation of millions of football fans and players around the world grew up with the game and it became a huge revenue generator.

But “months of tense negotiations” between California-based Electronic Arts (EA) and governing body FIFA did not result in an agreement to extend the partnership, the New York Times reported.

FIFA reportedly wanted the $150 million it receives annually from EA to be increased to $250 million or more.

The game has more than 150 million player accounts, according to EA, and The New York Times said it has generated more than $20 billion in revenue over the past two decades.

No major changes to gameplay are expected and EA said it maintains ties with other leagues and associations such as UEFA, Premier League and Spanish La Liga.

However, FIFA events such as the World Cup are not listed.

“Our vision for EA Sports FC is to create the largest and most influential football club in the world at the epicenter of football fandom,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA.

“For almost 30 years we have been building the world’s largest football community with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of sports partners and hundreds of leagues, associations and teams.

“EA Sports FC will be the club for each of them and for football fans everywhere.”

FIFA was quick to respond by saying it will “release new football video games developed with third party studios and publishers”.

“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game with the FIFA name will be the best available for players and football fans,” said its President Gianni Infantino.

EA Sports ends FIFA video game partnership after three decades

Source link EA Sports ends FIFA video game partnership after three decades

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