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EA could rename the FIFA franchise after almost three decades

The publisher is currently "exploring the idea" of rebranding the popular soccer sim.

EA is contemplating dropping the 'FIFA' name from its popular soccer franchise after almost three decades.

The name has been attached to the sports sim since 1993 when FIFA International Soccer was released. The series has become a genre mainstay in the years since, spawning annual releases and spin-offs including FIFA Street and tournament-specific entries like 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Although synonymous with the series, the FIFA moniker refers to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, a non-profit organization that serves as the international governing body of association football and runs competitions including the FIFA World Cup.

FIFA has been accused of corruption, bribery, and vote-rigging in the past, with reports indicating the organization engaged in foul play during the election of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and campaigns for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

EA maintained its ties with FIFA despite those scandals, but is now "exploring" the idea of renaming the franchise.

"As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games," wrote the company in a blog post. "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."

Branding uncertainty aside, the franchise itself appears to be in good health, with EA revealing FIFA 22 has already attracted 9.1 million players since launching on October 1, 2021.

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