The United States has been one of the biggest markets for the EA Sports FIFA games for the last few years, with around 25 percent of the total players hailing from the North American nation according to Fictional Horizon. The hugely successful games have helped to boost interest in soccer over here, and that looks set to continue in the future.
FIFA 23 is the final edition of the much-loved franchise, which will now be known as EA Sports FC in upcoming titles. With the MLS continuing its deal with EA Sports beyond the latest game, there could be a much greater focus on the American league moving forward.
MLS Extends Deal with EA Sports Beyond FIFA 23
Despite being the biggest and best-known sports game franchise in the world, EA Sports’ soccer offering will no longer be called FIFA. This is due to the studio and the official FIFA governing board failing to come to an agreement over licensing fees. FIFA itself has now decided that it will enter an official partnership with another developer to create games with the FIFA brand attached. That means there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future of the EA Sports games and what licenses they will be able to offer.
EA Sports will continue to make soccer games, but there is now some worry about how true to life they will be. Part of the reason why the FIFA series has been able to dominate the soccer games market has been the realism available. Players can compete as their favorite players and teams and witness famous stadiums with all the branding that comes with them. This helps to create the illusion that you are controlling the outcome of real games of soccer every time you play, and you can enjoy the feelings accompanied with seeing the teams you support in the real-world experience success virtually.
The good news for existing players is that EA Sports FC does have some licensing partnerships in place that are independent of the official FIFA brand. It will still have access to some of the world’s top leagues including the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga, and Serie A. The best news for North American players was reported by SP. The publication noted how the MLS has also extended its contract with EA Sports and will be a major focus of the upcoming games. This will correlate with the growing interest in the sport in the USA and appease the significant number of players who already buy the games.
Growing Interest in Soccer Ahead of the 2026 World Cup
The last time the World Cup was held in the USA in 1994, Major League Soccer didn’t even exist. The competition was founded in 1996, and since then has grown gradually to become an internationally recognized league. Interest in the sport has spiked significantly as major names from world soccer have helped to boost it.
David Beckham was one of the first marquee signings for the division, and now the former LA Galaxy player has his own franchise in Inter Miami. This move may influence other former players and wealthy investors to set up their own clubs or purchase existing ones in the future.
There are various industries that integrate well with soccer and are helping more people get into it in the USA. Online betting has been slow to take off in the country, but it is now beginning to spread as different states work on their own legislation to make it available to their residents. Ohio is one of the latest to make this move, and BetMGM Ohio is already listing all the promotions available to bettors. These include bonus bets with no deposit necessary, bet credits, and parlay cash after you make a deposit.
Being able to stake on soccer will give more people a reason to get into the sport, especially in areas that don’t yet have teams representing them in the MLS. This will be a major boost ahead of the next edition of the World Cup, which is set to take place across the USA, Mexico, and Canada.
Gaming Could Be a Great Way to Generate Hype for 2026 Competition
The organizers of the 2026 World Cup in North America may have looked at the latest edition in Qatar and realized there’s a lot of work to be done. The oil-rich nation spent billions putting on one of the smoothest and well-run iterations of the event ever, and the whole world was impressed with what the country achieved. Now, all eyes will be on North America and whether they can outdo Qatar.
One of the greatest advantages that North America has is that it will be able to generate a serious buzz about the competition that could lead to mass hysteria – in a good way. The USMNT will be in a strong position at that point as it has some incredibly hot talents that will be in their prime in 2026. Indeed, many pundits expect them to improve upon their Round of 16 exit at the last World Cup.
It will be easy to market this USA team with players like Tyler Adams in the fold, with the captain having already proven to be incredibly articulate in interviews. Gaming could be another crucial way to get people around the country hyped about the next competition.
With the USA being the main market for EA Sports offerings, the studio may decide to make some special games prior to the World Cup to help boost interest in the competition. It could also have a greater focus on the MLS and the USMNT in its career or story modes. In addition to that, online tournaments could be designed to get more American players on board by using stadiums and brands from the country.
EA Sports FC is an unknown entity now, but it’s unlikely to be much different to FIFA in terms of gameplay. With regards to the main leagues, there could be a much greater focus on North American divisions in the future.