After more than two dozen games under FIFA brand, EA can part with FIFA and rename the premium football franchise. The partnership between FIFA, football’s world governing body and EA first started with the launch of FIFA International Football back in 1993. The franchise has had a virtual monopoly on football matches in the form of the official license and has become the go-to premium football match for all fans, making it the best-selling sports video game franchise.
Despite the success, the partnership could end very soon and we may not see another FIFA games from EA. While this does not mean that EA Sports will stop making football matches, they just will not call them FIFA. The potential departure only made headlines after EA released a press release suggesting the change. In the press release, Cam Weber, executive president and general manager of EA Sports, said:
“Looking ahead, we are also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football matches. This means that we are reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses throughout the football world. ”
Konamis PES, the only other alternative to FIFA games, also underwent a similar rebranding. While Konami changed its entire business model and switched to a free-to-play model, it is more likely that EA will continue to make annual premium releases with a different name. And the decision to rebrand has more economic motives behind it than anything else. EA’s current agreement with FIFA ends next year, and FIFA wants to revise the financial clause if EA wants to renew.
According to the NY Times, FIFA is seeking more than double the payout compared to what they are currently receiving from EA. The new deal would mean EA would have to pay more than $ 1 billion every four years if they were to continue. EA also recently filed a trademark application for EA Sports FC, suggesting that they prepare if the dispute remains unresolved. EA has not acknowledged the recent trademarks for the name, or whether it suggests it may be related to the title of the next game.
Although EA and FIFA differ, EA will still have major licenses and similarities with other major leagues and players as EA recently renewed a new long-term agreement with FIFPRO. This means that EA will continue to have licensing agreements with major leagues such as the UEFA Champions League, LaLiga Santander, Premier League and Bundesliga among others. Negotiations between FIFA and EA are still ongoing as both parties have not yet announced renewal or departure. The latest FIFA game, FIFA 22, is currently available on all major platforms.
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