FIFA is reportedly ready to return to the soccer sim market by closing in on a deal with sports video game juggernaut 2K.
In 2022, FIFA and EA shockingly ended a 30-year partnership. FIFA games developed by EA generated more than $20 billion over the past several decades, but that seemingly wasn’t enough as FIFA upped its demands in rebranding negotiations and reportedly asked for $1 billion every four years to license its properties.
EA rejected the proposal, took its Frostbite game engine and exclusive partnership rights with soccer’s top leagues, and created EA FC 24. Meanwhile, all FIFA had left to its name were its naming rights and three World Cup tournaments, but that reportedly hasn’t stopped the world governing body from coming back for more.
FIFA rumored to partner with 2K on new soccer sim game
On Feb. 12, Insider Gaming editor Mike Straw reported he’s heard “rumors that FIFA/2K are working to announce a partnership for 2K to make an officially-licensed FIFA game.”
Straw admitted this could also be an agreement for the upcoming rumored 2K Lego soccer game, which was purportedly spotted on the PlayStation Store in November 2023 under the name Build Up. Historically, 2K has developed hockey, wrestling, basketball, baseball, football, boxing, and tennis games, but this would be the studio’s first soccer game.
Historically, EA hasn’t had to deal with competition in the soccer sim market. Pro Evolution Soccer has been around for decades but has failed to garner the same type of success, and Football Manager attracts a different audience and market than EA FC 24.
If the rumors are true, the most interesting battle will occur on the licensing front. PES, which is now rebranded as E Football, managed to ink exclusive deals with major clubs like AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, and Napoli. A FIFA and 2K deal would potentially put EA’s treasure trove of coveted deals in danger. But it’s always important to take leaks with a pinch of salt before we see official confirmation.