Recent rumors suggest that the international football organization, FIFA, is on the verge of partnering with 2K Games to develop a new football video game. This is not a novelty, as the idea of FIFA and 2K working together already surfaced two years ago.
EA Sports concluded its 29-year collaboration with FIFA in the summer of 2022, marking the end of an era for football video gaming. The split was attributed to EA’s desire for more creative freedom and the high licensing costs demanded by FIFA, reported to be around $1 billion for the next four years. Following this, EA Sports introduced the EA Sports FC series, distancing itself from the FIFA branding and starting a new chapter in football gaming with record earnings.
In the aftermath, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced that FIFA would continue to produce its own video games. In March 2023, he stated, “The new FIFA game – the FIFA 25, 26, 27 and so on – will always be the best egame for any girl or boy. We will have news on this very soon. The only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans.”
2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive renowned for their renowned franchises such as NBA 2K, PGA Tour 2K, and WWE 2K, is now rumored to be the developer behind FIFA’s new game as reported by multiple insiders in the gaming community:
I'm hearing rumors that FIFA/2K are working to announce a partnership for 2K to make an officially-licensed FIFA game.
Working to hopefully land more on this.
— Mike Straw (@MikeStrawMedia) February 12, 2024
Furthermore, back in 2022, Take-Two’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, expressed interest in the FIFA brand in an interview with IGN, stating, “We’re exploring sports expansion opportunities, and FIFA’s brand is appealing, though we have no plans to announce at this time.”
This rumor gained traction when former EA Sports community manager, ChuBoi, revealed that several ex-FIFA gameplay developers had joined 2K recently, hinting at a game launch aligned with the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be hosted in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
I’ve heard similar. Noticed last year few ex FIFA gameplay dev colleagues now work at 2K. Prob not coincidence.
Announcing a World Cup ‘26 game would make sense, that’s my bet.
But if you think EA’s servers are bad… my brothers in Christ, you ain’t seen nothing.
NBA 2K… https://t.co/QYRtkfqQr1
— chuboi 🇳🇬🇨🇦 (@ChuBoi) February 12, 2024
The timing is intriguing, as only a few days ago, FIFA unveiled their intentions to develop a new game by launching a public survey to gather insights from the gaming community about their preferences and expectations for the game.
A partnership between FIFA and 2K Games could introduce fresh gameplay, innovative features, and possibly a new direction for football video gaming. 2K’s track record with sports titles suggests a promising future for the franchise, potentially bringing the depth and engagement seen in the career modes of the NBA and WWE series to the football gaming world. However, 2K’s approach to microtransactions compared to EA may concern some players.
The transition from EA Sports to 2K Games will be quite tricky, as EA has already secured exclusive licensing rights with many of the world’s most popular football leagues and teams for its EA Sports FC series, which will pose a massive challenge for 2K’s entry into the market.
While official announcements are yet to be made, the gaming community eagerly anticipates the potential collaboration between FIFA and 2K Games. This development could mark the start of a significant rivalry in the football gaming arena. Together with EA SPORTS FC, Konami eFootball, Football Manager, and the upcoming UFL game, this move might introduce the much-needed competition the scene has been lacking the past decade.