The New York Times has shed some light on the reasons behind the possible split between the football association and the developer.
The news broke a week ago that EA Sports is considering a name change for FIFA. The reasons behind the possible decision are not arbitrary, far from it, but rather the fallout of some complicated discussions about license renewal between Electronic Arts and the highest body in world football.
In this sense – and always according to The New York Times – the body chaired by Gianni Infantino has twice asked the video game company to renew its contract to use the brand name. But to do so, Electronic Arts, which is also responsible for Madden NFL, would have to pay $1,000 million every four years for the FIFA brand.
That’s roughly double what they’ve had to shell out so far.
In addition, the report adds, the international soccer federation has also wanted to stop EA Sports from monetizing the brand beyond the video game, “probably to find new revenue streams for the federation to sell rights to,” which is currently opposed by Electronic Arts’ management.
EA and FIFA: a 30-year deal
The relationship between FIFA and EA Sports began in 1993, with the franchise’s first instalment, which has now generated more than $20,000 million in sales and currently offers the international federation $150 million a year under a deal renewed in 2013 for ten years.
According to the NYT, there could be many more outcomes to the deal by the end of the year. What’s clear is that Electronic Arts is not grinding but is already thinking about the future of the sports franchise, registering the EA Sports FC brand in Europe and confirming a recent statement by industry analysts that the deal is just a possible bluff by the sports organization.
However, the newspaper’s report delves into the various options that EA and FIFA would consider to avoid renewing their partnership. For example, the developer would not see it as vital to maintaining the deal to renew the agreement to use the trademark and the right to adapt the Soccer World Cup, a football World Cup every four years, to a video game.
We’ll have to wait the next few weeks to find out if, in 2023, we can say goodbye to one of the sports series that has accompanied us in the industry several times each year – at least as far as the brand name is concerned. Until that moment arrives, we learned today that EA Sports had renewed its partnership agreement with FIFPro, the international association of footballers, to continue delivering the most significant and most authentic football experience for years to come. So FIFA is not going away, just “rebranded” at best.
Source: New York Times