For millions of gamers, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word FIFA It is not the International Federation of Association Football, but the EA Sports football video games, which have been officially licensed for 28 years. Who does not refer to him as “we are going to have a FIFA”?
But this partnership, which seemed unshakable, could change next year. Cam Weber, General Manager of EA Sports, said in a statement that they were exploring the idea of renaming their soccer game series.
Weber clarified that it would not mean the loss of any of the licenses more meaningful to players, such as teams, footballers, leagues, World Cups and stadiums, something that was confirmed today when EA has renewed its contract with FIFPRO, the international organization of footballers.
According to the New York Times, the reason EA is considering divesting itself of FIFA’s license for the name of the game (and nothing more than that) is financial, of course. The name license costs, by itself, $ 150 million a year, but according to people close to the matter, FIFA was looking to more than double it.
This would make a four-year cycle, between World Cup and World Cup, amount to more than $ 1 billion for the FIFA brand license in the video game title.
The dispute between EA and FIFA also concerns a disagreement over the scope of use of the license. FIFA wants to limit EA to using the brand for video games, but EA wants to “explore other companies”, such as video game tournaments or digital products like NFTs.
EA and FIFA have until the end of this year to reach an agreement. If they do not renew the current contract (which ends with FIFA 22 and includes up to Qatar World Cup), EA would have to rename its video game. And they have already chosen it, according to brand records.
The loss of the FIFA name could be a blow to the game’s brand identity, but EA seems convinced that they would put up with it, since they no longer have practically competition in the video game simulators sector (and Konami with its eFootball 2022 doesn’t look like a serious competitor), and FUT’s business is getting more and more profitable…
Source: The New York Times