FIFA 22 Extends Partnership with Thousands of Player Names – Why It Matters

FIFA 22 is just out, so EA Sports is already looking into the future. With FIFPRO they have secured an important partner for the upcoming games in the series.

This was announced by EA: EA Sports announced in a press release that it has extended its partnership with “FIFPRO”. There is talk of a “long-term commitment”.

FIFPRO represents professional soccer players all over the world and is one of the most important license partners for EA Sports. The agreement with FIFPRO supports the developers, among other things, with access to “thousands of player names and graphics”, according to the statement.

The FIFPRO partnership is therefore a key factor in ensuring that authentic football stars can appear in the FIFA games.

“FIFPRO will continue to be a significant partner as we create the next generation of EA SPORTS soccer experiences for players around the world,” said David Jackson, VP EA Sports Brand. FIFA 22 has just celebrated its release, but apparently the course for future games is already being set here.

An interesting side note: there is no explicit mention of, for example, the “next generation of the FIFA experience for players”. That fits in with the discussion that the FIFA franchise could potentially change names.

What is certain, however, is that this series will retain one of its most important arguments from the last few years in the future.

The real names and players were always an important point

FIFA – The game with real names

Why the partnership is so important: For several years there was great competition between the soccer series FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, which also spread to the fans of the games.

You probably still know that:

  • While PES fans often spoke of superior gameplay as an argument as to which game was the better …
  • scored FIFA fans with the argument: “We have the real players.”

Because while the real club names or players appeared in FIFA, in PES you had to put up with fake variants for many things.

  • For example, FC Bayern Munich was called “record champions”
  • Werder Bremen simply “Weser”
  • And instead of Manchester United and Manchester City they played “Man Red” or “Man Blue”.

Other examples are player names like “Kruger” instead of Ballack, “Roberto Larcos” for Roberto Carlos or “Pomatski” instead of Podolski.

This aspect of realism has always been important to FIFA players, which the EA statement goes into again:

Our players regularly remind us that one of the most important aspects of an EA SPORTS gaming experience is immersion in the world of the game, which we back up with real leagues, teams and talent. In this way we are blurring the boundaries between physical and digital soccer world in a unique way

David Jackson, VP EA Sports Brand

License package with scratches: For all the importance of the real names, FIFA had to cope with a few dents in the large license package.

  • Some clubs from the Italian Serie A are no longer allowed to use FIFA by name. The players are shown realistically and given real names – but they play at “Piemonte Calcio” instead of Juventus Turin.
  • During the FIFA 21 season there was a dispute between EA, player agent Mino Raiola and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The latter had called the discussion on Twitter whether his name and face should even be in FIFA – this was also about FIFPRO.
  • A Konami partnership ensured that FC Bayern’s Allianz Arena could no longer be in FIFA.

These are just a few selected examples. With the extension of the FIFPRO partnership, EA Sports should want to ensure that in the future there is no need to jumble up player names.

Meanwhile, the big competitor Pro Evolution Soccer is struggling with completely different problems. Its latest incarnation called “eFootball” did not go down well at all despite – or perhaps because of – a completely overhauled concept.

When it was released, eFootball was so badly received that Konami even apologized and promised improvement.

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