Gamers say ‘goodbye FIFA, hello EA Sports FC’ after major rebrand

For 30 years, the name FIFA has been as synonymous with the world’s most popular football video game

In one of the biggest rebrands of the year, gamers will say goodbye to FIFA and hello to EA Sports FC.

For 30 years, the name FIFA has been as synonymous with the world’s most popular football video game.

But that is set to change with the worldwide launch of EA Sports FC on 29 September.

Games maker Electronic Arts (EA) has parted company with football’s governing body following a reported disagreement over the cost of the licence to use the FIFA name.

Klaus Kajetski, founder of YaLLA Esports, said: “I don’t think it will affect much, as long as the game is good, gamers will play. The FIFA affinity is not as strong for gamers as maybe hardcore football fans, probably some streamers might call it FIFA here and there.”

There has been strong focus on the rebrand, and less attention given to the new video game – EA Sports FC 24.

Benjamin Fujita-Summers, Executive Director -Brand Experience at Landor & Fitch, told Campaign Middle East: “I think, as a brand question, this has the potential to reflect far more negatively on FIFA than EA.

“FIFA’s brand isn’t exactly gleaming at the moment, with EA’s flagship game having been one of the few positive associations for the brand recently.”

It is always risky changing the name of such a strong video game franchise which has dominated the market for three decades.

“Gamers are all about the experience and with development of the product buoyed by the exponential growth in gaming and esports, there’s no reason to believe that EA’s fans won’t remain loyal to the product after renaming,” added Fujita-Summers.

The EA Sports’ FIFA series is by far the most popular football game , with EA having sold more than 325 million copies.

Mustafa Kannas, Communication Manager at Power League Gaming (PLG), said: “While changes in franchise may have some influence, the enduring appeal of the gameplay will reduce any potential negative impact on game sales.”

One of the main differences is the inclusion of female players for the first time in the Ultimate Team mode. “It’s a positive step towards appealling to a broader demograph and promoting diversity in gaming,” added Kannas.

Gamers may continue to call it FIFA despite the rebranding, for a short period. “The name FIFA has become deeply ingrained in the gaming community and has become synonymous with soccer video games for many gamers.

“It has become a widely recognised and understood term that it will take some time for gamers to adapt to the change in the name,” said Kannas.

FIFA has announced it will launch a variety of new football video games developed with third-party studios and publishers in the future.