For years EA has been one of the most well-known developers of sports titles across the world. Madden, NHL, and FIFA are all games released yearly by EA Sports with a history of developing titles like NBA Live and NCAA Football as well. However, of all those titles one game sticks out above the rest. Madden is the only game that is licensed with an individual instead of a brand or organization. Could we be seeing this come to an end in the near future? It seems very possible!
On Monday, EA announced in a press release that it was considering the possibility of changing the name of the FIFA franchise. EA Sports Group General Manager, Cam Weber, mentioned how authenticity is important to them and wanted to further explore that in their games. Weber went on to state that the idea of a name change was being explored.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games.” Weber said. “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.”
“The future of football is very big and very bright.” Weber said. “Our priority is to ensure we have every opportunity to continue delivering the world’s greatest interactive football experiences. Thank you again for your support and feedback on this year’s game. We look forward to creating the future of football with you.”
This can mean so many possibilities for more than just the FIFA franchise, but let’s start off there. If Weber is announcing in a press release that they’re “exploring the idea of renaming” FIFA then that likely means they’ve already decided to change the name. It wouldn’t make sense for EA to announce that it was thinking of doing this only to remain with the FIFA branding on the box. Those kinds of conversations are usually kept behind closed doors and then announced to the public when they’ve been decided on.
So going under the assumption that a name change is going to happen, what could that name be? Polygon did a little bit of digging and found that EA had filed for trademarks in the United Kingdom and European Union for the name EA Sports FC. We found that they had also filed for this name in the United States as well. While companies do file for trademarks sometimes just to ensure it has the name, this branding style matches up with the recently announced EA Sports College Football.
With the college football game, it was clear that a break from the NCAA for individual licensing with schools allowed them more flexibility as the future of the NCAA is a bit shaky, to say the least. Going the same route with FIFA is interesting, and we’ll have to wait and see if other EA franchises follow suit. For now though, we can only speculate and wait until a name change for FIFA has been officially announced.