The end of a long and profitable relationship with soccer’s governing body would mean renaming one of the most popular video games of all time.
It is one of the longest and most profitable relationships in sports. Nearly three decades after soccer’s global governing body licensed its name to a California video game maker looking to expand its offerings, the FIFA series that was born out of that partnership has become not so much a game as a cultural phenomenon.
To millions of people around the world, the letters FIFA now represent not actual soccer but instead a one-word shorthand for the hugely popular video game series that has become a fixture in the lives of players as diverse as Premier League pros, casual fans and even gamers with no other relationship to the sport.
Sales of the game, which releases an updated edition every year, have surpassed $20 billion over the past