EA Sports is moving ahead with its plans to drop the 'FIFA' moniker from its soccer sim series, according to a new report.
We already knew that the developer was "exploring" the possibility of renaming its FIFA game series but, according to a report by VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb, EA Sports is now moving forward with its plans to drop the FIFA name.
According to Grubb's sources, EA is making the major move as it no longer wants to "pay a premium" to license the FIFA name, with Grubb claiming FIFA has asked EA for $1 billion to keep hold of the 'FIFA' moniker.
So what will the FIFA game series be called instead? According to Grubb, the developer is going with the name 'EA Sports FC'. This doesn't come as a huge surprise as trademark applications for the name 'EA Sports FC' were spotted by VGC in October 2021, shortly before EA Sports announced it was exploring dropping the FIFA name.
That means that FIFA 23 could be called EA Sports FC, or some variation of it – it remains unclear if the renaming will see the developer drop the numbers entirely.
What's more, FIFA updated its trademark earlier this month, with the filing mentioning video games among its merchandise. While this could suggest FIFA may have plans to release its own game series (or continue the FIFA series on its own), the filing does cover everything from industrial oils and greases to insurance, so its more likely the organization simply wants to cover its bases to stop anyone from using its name.
Opinion: it's not quite got a ring to it
It looks inevitable at this point that EA Sports will drop the FIFA name and, to be honest, I don't blame them.
The FIFA game series has arguably outgrown the name and, as EA has previously stated, the naming rights for the FIFA series are separate from its other official partnerships and licenses. That means that, apart from a name change and the absence of heavy FIFA branding, we shouldn't see a big change to content within the game.
But, I can't help but think that 'EA Sports FC', the game's potential new name, sounds much less hard-hitting – and more like a local soccer team. But maybe that's the point? To bring the focus more to the beautiful game itself rather than have it overshadowed and, ultimately hand-tied, by a soccer goliath.
EA Sports hasn't confirmed it's moving ahead with the name change, nor has it confirmed that EA Sports FC could be a potential new name, but we imagine that the developer will confirm any name change in the coming months, especially with its next annual 'FIFA' game due to release later this year.
TRG has contacted EA Sports for comment.