After more than two dozen games under the FIFA brand, EA might part ways with FIFA and rebrand the premium football franchise. The partnership between FIFA, the world governing body of football, and EA first started with the launch of FIFA International Soccer back in 1993. The franchise has enjoyed a virtual monopoly over football games in terms of the official license and has become the go-to premium football game for all fans, making it the highest-selling sports video game franchise.
Despite the success, the partnership could end very soon and we might not see another FIFA game from EA. Although this does not mean EA Sports will stop making football games, they’ll just not call them FIFA. The potential departure first came into the headlines after EA posted a press release suggesting the change. In the press release, Cam Weber, the executive president and general manager of EA Sports, said:
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games. This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”
Konami’s PES, the only other alternative to FIFA games, also underwent a similar rebranding. While Konami changed its entire business model and shifted to a free-to-play model, EA is more likely to continue doing yearly premium releases with a different name. And the decision regarding rebranding has more financial motives behind it than anything else. EA’s current agreement with FIFA will end next year, and FIFA wants to revise the financial clause if EA wants to renew.
According to the NY Times, FIFA seeks more than double the payout compared to what they currently receive from EA. The new deal would mean EA has to pay more than $1 billion every four years if they want to continue. EA also recently filed a trademark application for EA Sports FC, suggesting that they are preparing should the dispute remain unresolved. EA hasn’t acknowledged the recent trademarks for the name or whether it suggests that it could be related to the title of the next game.
Even if EA and FIFA part ways, EA will still have major licenses and likenesses of other major leagues and players, as EA recently renewed a new long-term agreement with FIFPRO. This means that EA will continue to have license agreements with major leagues like the UEFA Champions League, LaLiga Santander, Premier League, and Bundesliga among others. The negotiation between FIFA and EA is still ongoing as both parties have yet to announce any renewal or departure. The latest FIFA game, FIFA 22, is currently available on all major platforms.
More Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd in fun outfits, please and thank you.
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