EA Sports, the sports arm of global video game giant Electronic Arts (EA), has secured the rights to European soccer governing body UEFA’s 2024 European Championships, now set to appear in its EA Sports FC 24 video game.
The competition will arrive in the game during the northern hemisphere summer, with the launch coinciding with the tournament itself, as a free update to all players on every console system.
This also includes online players on the EA Sports FC Online service and mobile players on the EA Sports FC Mobile game.
This represents an expansion of an existing association between UEFA and EA Sports – in October last year, the video game developer became a global sponsor of the UEFA Women's Champions League competition.
David Jackson, EA Sports FC vice president of brand, stated: “This exclusive Euros content will enable EA Sports to continue delivering the most authentic and innovative football experiences for our fans.”
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director at UEFA, also said of the announcement: “Euro 2024 is one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting soccer tournaments, and we’re thrilled that the huge EA Sports FC 24 community across the globe will get the chance to engage with the tournament in such an authentic gaming environment.”
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In order to promote the collaboration, star players from six European nations who qualified for the tournament will be available as a special bonus to active EA Sports FC 24 ultimate team players until January 16, 2024.
The deal also sees EA Sports become the official platform for the inaugural edition of UEFA’s soon-to-be-announced annual esports tournament, the eEURO.
The eEURO will see qualification phases conducted, before a final to take place in mid-2024.
Epstein added: “We also look forward, in coming weeks, to unveiling further details around the eEURO competitive gaming tournament.”
The 2023-24 soccer season has marked the first EA Sports FC release, following the end of EA’s long-running partnership with global soccer governing body FIFA, which saw the games named after the organization.
Despite lacking the FIFA name and branding, EA Sports FC has had no trouble securing partnerships with the world’s top soccer leagues.
In July, the game agreed a multi-year partnership extension with the Premier League, England’s top-tier soccer competition, for the iconic league to remain officially licensed within the game, while the EA Sports FC title continues to serve as the league’s lead partner.