Last year, the announcement was made that the video game developer EA Sports and the Football governing body FIFA would no longer be working together on new FIFA games after the two organizations failed to come to terms on a new licensing agreement.
This has since led to EA revealing its own plans for a newly rebranded football game called EA Sports FC 24, while FIFA's president Gianni Infantino has assured fans that the organization will continue the FIFA series without EA's involvement.
Recently, we've been talking to a bunch of individuals who helped create the original FIFA back in 1993 at EA Canada for an upcoming "Making Of" for the site, so, while asking questions about how the series came to be, we couldn't resist slipping one in about the recent split. Those willing to offer their thoughts included Bruce McMillan, the original producer of FIFA International Soccer, as well as Matthew Webster, the associate producer of that game.
McMillan told us over a call that he was "disappointed" that the two were no longer going to collaborate, but has no doubt that EA "is going to be successful" with EA Sports FC 24:
"For me, as a creator of FIFA, I’m disappointed that they are not still working together because it’s 30 years in, right? It’s kind of crazy. […] It is a weird situation. We’ll see how it goes. Now, EA is going to be successful. EA is an outstanding company, so it’s not going to go sideways. I hope FIFA finds somebody that will help them with this next thing, but it really is an expensive business to be in right now."
Webster, meanwhile, argues that the split has been a long time coming and believes that FIFA doesn't seem to understand the creativity and complexity involved in the development of games:
"It’s a long time coming, I think. It should have been done years ago. The team that creates FIFA is extraordinary. It’s something to be admired and inspired by. It’s an incredible thing what those people do each year and the whole system around it is just extraordinary. Managing all the associated systems from gameplay through technology, networking, security, economy, motion data, likenesses, stadia, game modes, managing rights and contracts - folks just don’t think about these sorts of things - all that stuff suddenly starts to get very complicated at such a scale.
"[…] Personally the video game doesn’t need those four letters. It just doesn’t need it. And I think, you know, when I look at what the FIFA organisation has said subsequently, it’s obvious that they don’t quite understand the creativity and complexity as well as the power of video games and so are somewhat oblivious to the impact. It’s going to be business as usual for Electronic Arts and the team creating EA Sports FC and the FIFA organization has lost perhaps one of the primary positive things the rest of the world thinks about them. So, it should have happened years ago, the game will have the players, you’ve got all the licenses in the leagues and the money that gets pumped into there is a positive impact into the football."
EA Sports FC 24 has already received an announcement trailer, with more details scheduled to be unveiled this Thursday, July 13th as part of an official reveal livestream. If you want to stay up to date, we recommend keeping an eye on the coverage of our friends over at Push Square and Pure Xbox.