The on-going fracture between EA and FIFA seems to have widened over the weekend, as the football body issued a statement seemingly directly targeted at EA, noting that it believes football gaming and esports "must involve more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights".
It's been a pretty electric week in the world of football games – after EA suggested that the FIFA series may drop its now-classic branding, the publisher has trademarked EA Sports FC – hinting at what the future of the series may look like.
This apparently happened because FIFA was apparently looking to more than double the cost of its licence, looking at charging EA over $1 billion per every four-year World Cup cycle to retain the FIFA branding.
Now, as if in direct response to EA's public gestures towards ditching the FIFA name, the football body has repsonded with a statement that pulls no punches.
“FIFA is bullish and optimistic about its long-term future in gaming and eSports following a comprehensive and strategic assessment of the gaming and interactive entertainment market,” the statement says.
“Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments. Consequently, FIFA is engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts, to build out a long-term view of the gaming, eSports and interactive entertainment sector.”
That could spell bad news for EA: though PES-successor eFootball seemed to fall at the first hurdle with its botched launch earlier this year, there are other football gaming competitors out there that could pose a viable threat to FIFA – the recently revealed UFL football, for one.
As if to challenge EA directly, the statement also notes FIFA is "excited about using the FIFA World Cup [and FIFA Women's World Cup] as platforms to launch and integrate exciting new games and eSports offerings."
It's an exciting time to be a football game fan – it looks like things are about to really shake up for the first time in over a decade.