FIFA diversifying its gaming rights, will release new non-sim football games alongside EA Sports franchise

by Pierre Bell

Non-exclusive games model allows new titles to launch ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

FIFA has announced that for the first time, it will launch a new football game developed with third-party studios and publishers, and several non-simulation titles are already in production.

The body noted in the release that it has granted an extension to EA Sports for the simulation football category only, which will allow the release of FIFA 23 later this year.

FIFA also said it is engaging with publishers, studios, and investors on the development of a major new simulation football title for 2024.

The new, non-simulation games that are already in development will release during the third quarter of this year, the first of which features the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which promises to bring "new interactive experiences to fans across the globe."

It will also release further games and virtual experiences around this year’s FIFA World Cup, and projects are also under discussion with publishers ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

"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," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

"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."

The extension with EA Sports is a new arrangement that grants rights for the simulation football category only, freeing up broader gaming rights for FIFA and different gaming publishers to release new games and "more deeply immersive experiences for fans and football stakeholders."

This new, "non-exclusive licensing model" follows on from an extended period of discussions between the parties relating to FIFA’s future gaming vision. As previously announced, FIFA said it intends to work with a range of partners rather than "lock up all gaming and esports rights exclusively with one publisher for the long term."

Yesterday, EA announced it is dropping the FIFA branding after 30 years, and come 2023, its football games will move forward under the new EA Sports FC brand.

According to EA, the move will allow it to "deliver the world’s biggest interactive sports experience" for the growing community in collaboration with over 300 partners across the world of football.

Since the new branding doesn't go into effect until 2023, this fall's EA Sports FIFA entry will maintain the FIFA brand.