Take-Two Interactive is interested in boosting its library of sports games but is not looking to become the new publisher of FIFA.
In an FY22 earnings call earlier today, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked (via IGN) about picking up the FIFA franchise now that its long-time publisher Electronic Arts is parting ways.
Zelnick stated that “FIFA has a great brand and incredible clout, but we have no current plans to discuss” about developing and publishing new FIFA games. Zelnick though did confirm that Take-Two Interactive is “definitely interested in expanding” its sports profile in the near future.
Electronic Arts will no longer be the publishing label attached to the iconic and lucrative FIFA games. Following months of negotiations last year with the real-world FIFA governing body about paying an increased licensing fee of $1 billion to use the FIFA name, Electronic Arts has decided to move on by rebranding its FIFA franchise to EA Sports FC or EA Sports Football Club.
FIFA 23 will be the last installment in the franchise to use the FIFA name, after which Electronic Arts will presumably publish its next game as EA Sports FC 24.
The split-up means that FIFA is now looking for a new publisher to partner with for its games. There were whispers a few months back that Take-Two Interactive has either been approached or is being considered to take the place of Electronic Arts and helm the franchise. That appears to be a no from Take-Two Interactive, at least for the time being.
Football fans should however not be concerned about the rebranding. Electronic Arts has made it clear that the rebranding will only be in name alone. The publishing giant still holds several “official partnerships and licenses across the football world” that “over 300 individual licensed partners” for “17,000+ athletes across 700+ teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues”.