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    The Rise and Fall of EA Sports and FIFA: Why the Relationship is Ending This Summer

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    For many gamers, FIFA is more than just a game – it’s a way of life. High stakes, dramatic moments, and the thrill of victory make playing FIFA the ultimate gaming experience. But this summer, the sports gaming universe as we know it will change forever.

    The enormous fan base of the game, which consists of football aficionados, recreational players, and even professional e-sports athletes, is responsible for its enormous success.

    Furthermore, FIFA has added features such as in-game purchases and unique content over the years, allowing gamers to earn virtual cash known as FIFA points. Given the development of cryptocurrencies, the gaming industry and FIFA are actively investigating the incorporation of virtual currency into their games.

    Cryptocurrencies can completely change the iGaming industry by offering decentralized, safe, and transparent payment systems. For this reason, FIFA is tapping into the momentum and pioneering the future-centric intersection of digital assets and gaming. There are various resources accessible should you require help with cryptocurrency before this integration takes place.

    FIFA’s evolution has been driven by EA Sports since the 1990s and their cooperation has seen its ups and downs. This cooperation, however, will come to an end this summer, once the lifespan of FIFA 23 draws to a close. Let’s look at the reasons behind this substantial change.

    Early Years

    The first FIFA video game, created by our pals at EA Sports, a Canadian firm, entered the market 30 years ago in 1993. They’ve been the masterminds behind every FIFA game release wearing the coveted FIFA name since then. With the passage of time, the partnership between EA Sports and FIFA flourished, giving birth to beloved titles such as FIFA Soccer ’95, FIFA International Soccer, and FIFA 97.

    2009 saw the licensing agreement between EA Sports and FIFA, which marked the partnership’s real breakthrough. By granting EA Sports access to FIFA’s trademarks, logos, and player likenesses, this deal gave both businesses new opportunities for growth. It was a game-changer that let them reach previously unimaginable heights. The Canadian company was also authorized to produce video games for the FIFA World Cup every four years thanks to the rights agreement.

    There were standalone games for the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups. However, recent installments of the competition, namely the Russia-hosted tournament of 2018 and the Qatar-hosted tournament which culminated back in December, have been featured as downloadable content rather than standalone games, to much critical acclaim. In fact, the recent World Cup DLC received rave reviews from both critics and gamers alike, with many appreciating the fact that they didn’t have to pay for a brand new game to enjoy the Qatari showcase, as well as complimenting how the real-life competition was integrated into the FIFA Ultimate Team game mode.

    Controversies

    Although EA Sports’ FIFA games continued to rule the sports gaming market, problems quickly surfaced. The yearly release schedule was the first issue; according to detractors, it didn’t provide developers enough time to enhance game mechanics or correct issues from the previous year. In-game purchases also irritated game players, who complained that EA Sports was utilizing a “pay-to-win” strategy, particularly in the aforementioned Ultimate Team mode.

    FUT has come in for plenty of criticism over the years for its perceived gambling-like nature. The game mode allows gamers to purchase loot boxes known as “packs” in the hopes of improving their dream team. However, just like in the world of gambling, gamers never know what players they are to receive. They may receive a legend such as Lionel Messi, or the pack could be a complete dud.

    Meanwhile, accusations of scripting and handicapping dogged the game, with supporters alleging that the game was tampering with results in order to keep matches competitive. The introduction of FIFA 21 in 2020 brought these concerns to a head. The game’s playable content was lambasted by players, with many accusing EA Sports of rehashing game modes from past years. Others stated that the in-game content did not justify the game’s hefty price tag. EA Sports was left dealing with plummeting sales and a shattered brand as the criticism intensified.

    The End

    EA Sports tried to salvage its relationship with FIFA, culminating in the announcement of FIFA 22, which is now confirmed to be the last FIFA game developed by EA Sports. After a 28-year association, the two corporations publicly announced their separation last summer. FIFA, world football’s governing body, was seeking some $1bn for a four-year rights deal, a lofty fee which EA was simply unwilling to pay.

    While EA Sports made it clear that the split was amicable, FIFA’s murky history with finances has left many fans unsurprised. Netflix released a groundbreaking documentary into the corruption that has been running riot within the organization prior to the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup, and as such, it will come as no surprise to hear that finances the downfall of the beloved FIFA video game franchise.

    EA has already announced that they will rebrand their games under the banner of EA Sports FC, with the first installment of the new franchise due for release at the end of September. It remains to be seen whether another developer stumps up the funds required to secure the official rights to FIFA however.

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    Sergei
    Sergei
    Sergei Prakapovich is a special features writer at Gaming Ideology. With a knack for in-depth analysis and storytelling, Sergei crafts compelling articles that explore the intricacies of the gaming world, offering unique insights and perspectives to readers.