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Could 2K be making FIFA 2K24? Here’s everything to know

fifa 2k games

With EA Sports’ partnership with FIFA dead, there’s hypothetically an opening there for 2K Games to swoop in and put together a FIFA 2K24, but the big issue is which teams and leagues it could actually include.

While EA is known for making some of the best-selling video games in the world, a significant portion of that success is the company’s ability to pay its way into exclusive partnerships with major IPs. From boxing other publishers out of the NFL to partnering with Disney to become the lone creator of Star Wars video games, the company will ensure a monopoly when it can’t guarantee quality. Arguably the best demonstration of this is in the realm of soccer, where EA’s ability to tender partnerships with a long list of major leagues and clubs around the globe.

This is partly done to make it difficult for a competing publisher to step in and make its own football sim. With that in mind, what would a FIFA 2K game even look like if the publisher returned and which teams or leagues could be included?

What football leagues and clubs does EA have exclusivity with?

EA Sports has exclusive licenses for video game with a long list of clubs and teams from around the world. The full list and duration of these deals are unclear, but EA Sports flaunted some of the institutions it has singular rights to in the video game space.

Here are some of the football institutions, leagues, and clubs that have exclusive partnerships with EA Sports as of 2024:

  • UEFA
  • Premier League
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga
  • Serie A TIM
  • MLS
  • NWSL

Though EA FC 24 included many more leagues than this, not all of those deals are exclusive. If other leagues have exclusive partnerships with EA, the company did not mention it.

Because of this, a FIFA 2K game would not have access to top European football teams or leagues. This would make things difficult for the company, but there is one possible avenue toward success for it.

FIFA 2K game could instead be World Cup 2K

While 2K wouldn’t be able to include many of the top clubs or leagues from western leagues and circuits, it could lean on international competitions to build out a series.

-https://twitter.com/Ibra_official/status/1330926882158735361

Though EA Sports has exclusive licensing rights to the clubs and iconography associated with UEFA and many other major football organizations and associations, it doesn’t have the rights to the FIFA name or the concept of national teams. Just as importantly, the company doesn’t seem to have exclusive rights to the likenesses and names of players, and there are a number of notable omissions from EA’s recent games, most notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic who blasted the company in 2020 for using his likeness without permission.

If 2K Games could obtain the rights to players’ likenesses, it could create a compelling World Cup-focused game with FIFA to compete with EA Sports FC. While this wouldn’t be entirely dissimilar from the off-brand sports games of the 1990s that danced around their lack of licensing, the complete lack of an alternative to EA FC with Konami’s eFootball cratering with fans and critics may crack the door open.

There are no rumors, reports, or hints of a FIFA 2K game being in development, and the awkward situation when it comes to EA’s exclusive licensing of teams and leagues may be enough to keep things that way. At present, Lego 2K Goal is the only confirmed soccer-related game coming with 2K branding. As with Lego 2K Drive, it’s set to be a wacky, arcade-style experience rather than a proper simulation.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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