It's a sentence we never thought we'd hear ourselves saying, but could we soon be preparing for a life without FIFA?
By FIFA, we don't mean the organisation, that isn't going anywhere, but the organisation's ties with EA Sports footballing sim are quickly falling apart.
After 28 years, it looks as though the partnership between FIFA and EA Sports will be coming to an end. And unsurprisingly, money is the driving force behind the split.
$1 Billion Demands
As is the case with any licensing agreement, there is always money involved. And in this case, it's quite a substantial amount of money.
The NY Times report that the licensing agreement between Electronic Arts and FIFA is currently worth an estimated $150 million per year. It is understood that FIFA are looking to double that, with a four year deal worth in excess of $1 billion.
The two companies have been in dialogue with regards to renewing their current contract for the last two years, but it appears that the pair are worlds apart in their valuations of an extended deal.
With their current 10-year-deal coming to an end next winter, following the conclusion of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it looks as though we'll have to start planning for life beyond FIFA.
EA Sports F.C.
Rebranding isn't uncommon in the gaming world, as fans of eFootball 2021 (formerly Pro Evolution Soccer) will be aware. But let's face it, EA Sports dropping the name FIFA from their title would send shockwaves across the gaming world.
But where could they go from there? Well, it looks as though provisions are already being put in place.
It is understood that the company has already registered two trademarks, one in the European Union and one in Britain, for the phrase 'EA Sports F.C.'.
The loss of the name FIFA would be significant, but not game changing as far as the franchise is concerned. Electronic Arts have over 300 licensing agreements with other companies associated with football, including UEFA, CONMEBOL, the Premier League and the Serie A.
So whether it be FIFA 23, or EA Sports F.C., there is little reason to be worried. The game will remain on its perch at the top of the sports gaming world.