American publisher EA and the International Football Association have ended a 30-year partnership.
Football match fans FIFA will have to get used to it: after three decades of existence, their favorite saga will change its name. The divorce is indeed being finalized between the International Football Association and the video game publisher EA. The two sides had been in conflict for several months over the renewal of the right to use the prestigious license. These months of hard negotiations will have come to nothing.
According to the New York Times, the license agreement will expire after the Women’s World Cup, which will take place in Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 2023. FIFA 23, which is slated for release in September this year, will therefore be the final installment in the series to be published by EA. But the American group does not intend to stop designing its very popular football games. The productions will be renamed EA Sports FC from September 2023.
EA retains other valuable rights
The American daily reported in October 2021 about the tense discussions between the two parties. FIFA wanted to double the price of its license to get $1 billion from EA every four years.
Above all, the federation wanted to maintain the ability to associate its precious brand with other video games, such as Fortnite True Roblox† This suggestion was unthinkable for EA. †We spent hundreds of millions of dollars on these productions and Epic Games could have gotten a license that we built ourselves that has become synonymous with video games alone?“, deciphers with the New York Times Peter Moore, former head of EA’s sports division.
The American publisher has the luxury of being able to part with the “Fifa” brand. It has all the other essential licenses to attract football fans. EA reserves the right to use the names of professional football players and to represent their faces faithfully. It also has the exclusive rights to host the biggest European championships, such as the Champions League or the Premier League. In short, for the player, the gaming experience will be strictly identical. Only the name of the game will be different.
EA will also be released from the federation’s right of access, allowing it to develop new services around its football game. Andrew Wilson, CEO of the American publisher, also told the… New York Times want to develop commercial partnerships with brands, and why not allow players to buy the official jersey of their favorite teams.
FIFA doesn’t have many options. If she can sell her license to another video game maker, the latter will not have access to EA’s other rights. This will limit the attractiveness of this hypothetical new game FIFA†
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