Future FIFA games may give up the rights to use the FIFA name, EA has said.
In a blog posted ostensibly to trumpet the "record-breaking launch" of FIFA 22, EA also mentioned it was currently "exploring the idea of renaming" the franchise.
"This means we're reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA," EA Sports boss Cam Weber said, "which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world."
In other words, FIFA 23 may be called something else next year, though expect it to still contain the same wide array of licensed clubs and footballers. EA specifically called out the various leagues it has the exclusive rights to, such as the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, Premier League and Bundesliga. Don't expect those to go anywhere.
"Through years of building our global franchise, we also know that authenticity is essential to the experience," Weber continued. "That's why we focus so much energy on the collective strength of over 300 individual licensed partners that give us access to 17,000+ athletes across 700+ teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world.
"We continually invest in the partnerships and licenses that are most meaningful to players, and because of that, our game is the only place you can authentically play in the iconic UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONMEBOL Libertadores, Premier League, Bundesliga, and LaLiga Santander, among many others. The breadth of our partnerships and our ecosystem of licensed content will enable us to continue to bring unrivaled authenticity in our EA Sports football games, now and for many years to come."
Under the FIFA branding, EA's footy series has become the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world, as well as one of the longest. The first FIFA game launched back in 1994, with annual installments ever since.
There's no reasoning given for why EA may in future drop the FIFA name rights, which it pays big money to license. And why just FIFA? Why not NHL or NFL?
The biggest question though, of course, is what EA will rename FIFA to. EA Football? fFootball? PES?