Electronic Arts revealed last week that it was considering changing the name of its famous football game series after 30 years of uninterrupted partnership. Unsurprisingly, this statement caused a stir within the industry. If this potential title change was not justified by the American publisher, it is easy to imagine that its motivation is financial. Today, new elements affirm that this envisaged rupture is indeed linked to a story of big money.
The possible change of title of the games FIFA would be the result of a financial dispute between Electronic Arts and FIFA. And there would be no question of a small disagreement here. The football federation would indeed like to obtain more than a billion dollars from Electronic Arts for each period of four years of use of the FIFA brand in its games. This rumor comes from the site of The New York Times who claims to hold it from “several people close to the negotiations.“
According to them, the agreement between EA Sports and FIFA brings in about 150 million dollars to the latter each year. FIFA would therefore like to more than double this amount. And if the current quarrel is mainly related to money, other factors also come into play. According to the same sources, the two camps also do not agree on the extent of the use of the FIFA brand.
On the one hand, FIFA would like to limit the use made of its name by EA Sports to the games themselves. This would allow him to exploit his brand in other games. Thus, FIFA DLC could for example be offered in a game like Fortnite.
On the other hand, Electronic Arts believes it can use the FIFA brand in other activities related to the annual FIFA games. This can correspond to the organization of tournaments or the sale of dematerialized products such as NFTs.
Who has the most to lose after a title change, EA Sports or FIFA?
The New York Times says the two camps have been negotiating about the renewal of the current contract for at least two years. The still-ongoing 10-year deal will end after the next World Cup in Qatar. And public statements from EA Sports show that negotiations are currently stalling.
As we reported to you earlier this week, EA recently registered the trademark “EA Sports FC” This clearly shows that the publisher is preparing for the end of its partnership with FIFA. The American publisher must, however, weigh the pros and cons.
The various contracts signed by EA for its football games mean that it would retain the rights of use of the players, teams, stadiums and leagues even in the event of a divorce with FIFA. The content of the upcoming games would therefore remain solid for football fans.
The expression “FIFA” has, however, become synonymous with the game of football in many minds. A change of title could therefore generate some confusion among players. It is up to the publisher to determine if a saving of 150 million dollars per year would be enough to offset any possible commercial consequences linked to the loss of the FIFA brand.
What do you say about these new rumors? Do the amounts in question here surprise you? Can EA Sports afford to remove FIFA from the title of its football games? Do you think FIFA is too greedy? Give us your opinion in the comments below.