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EA Sports has filed trademarks in the UK and EU that hint at the potential new name of the FIFA franchise ahead of its licensing agreement expiring.
The publisher announced in a press release last week that FIFA 22 had amassed 9.1m players and a whopping 460m matches played since its launch.
However, EA Sports executive vice president Cam Weber made a bombshell admission that the publisher could rebrand the long-running FIFA franchise.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games,” he said.
“This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”
Polygon reports that EA filed the new trademark with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and with the European Union Intellectual Property Office on 1st October.
According to the publication, it would seem that EA is considering ‘EA Sports FC’ as a potential new name for the FIFA series.
An EA Sports representative declined to comment on the trademark filing after being approached by Polygon over the matter.
The FIFA 22 publisher previously used ‘Football Club’ as part of an online community for its franchise from 2011 to 2020.
An EA Sports FC name change would bring the FIFA franchise closer in line with the publisher’s other series, including EA Sports UFC.
EA Sports is also planning the return of EA Sports PGA Tour in 2022 and EA Sports College Football, which is rumoured to launch sometime in 2023.
Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted that EA has until December 2022 to agree on whether it will extend its licence with FIFA over the naming rights.
He added that EA and FIFA renewed their licence agreement in 2013, but not extending the naming rights would not affect the name of clubs in EA Sports' titles.
EA has until December 2022 to decide whether it will extend its license with FIFA to retain the naming rights.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 11, 2021
The license was originally extended in 2013.
Either EA thinks it can sell Football games without the FIFA brand, or this is a public negotiating tactic. https://t.co/Bnq0Ak4Dji
As far as I'm aware, the agreement only pertains to the naming of the game + FIFA World Cup games.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 11, 2021
This wouldn't include other licenses such as clubs and partnerships. https://t.co/uG9OOqoee1
EA announced on Tuesday that it had extended its partnership with FIFPRO, which allows the FIFA franchise to continue using players’ names and likenesses supported by the football union and leagues.
“Our players regularly remind us that one of the most important aspects of an EA Sports experience is the deep immersion created through authentic use of the world’s greatest leagues, teams and talent -- it’s how we continue to uniquely blur the lines between the digital and physical worlds of football,” says EA Sports VP David Jackson.
“FIFPRO will continue to be an important partner as we build the next generation of EA Sports football experiences for players around the world.”
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