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FIFA knocks exclusive licensing deals, casting more doubt on EA partnership

"It is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights."

FIFA intends to widen its video game and esports portfolio, and claims its future musty "invoke more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights."

The international soccer governing body is best known in the games industry for lending its name to EA Sports' long-running FIFA franchise.

FIFA and EA have been partners for almost three decades, having initially joined forces for the launch of FIFA International Soccer in 1993.

Earlier this month, however, EA said it was "exploring" the possibility of renaming the popular series, which could potentially mean revising or ending its naming rights agreement with FIFA.

FIFA itself appears unfazed by that prospect, and is actively courting other suitors in a bid to "maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans."

"FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and eSports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights," reads a press release on the FIFA website.

"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.

"The outcome will ensure that FIFA has a range of suitable parties with specialist capabilities to actively shape the best possible experiences and offerings for fans and consumers."

FIFA added that working with a wide range of partners will allow it to move quickly to capitalize on emerging trends within the games industry, and indicated that flexibility will be of "crucial importance" moving forward.

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