EA Sports, a California based video game creator will have to use a different name other than FIFA for its next football game after two-year negotiations with the official FIFA body that have hit a snag.
It also means that they won’t be able to use the logo and rights to the World Cup – a four-year monthlong tournament.
Three decades ago, the two agreed to license the FIFA name for its football game with the recent one being FIFA 22. The partnership is now at stake according to sources close to the negotiations.
Over the past two decades, EA Sports has earned over $20 billion with FIFA getting $150 million per year thanks to this agreement.
But after the 10-year agreement ends after next years World Cup in Qatar, EA Sports will need to start looking for a new name. So imagine FIFA without FIFA as the New York Times reports.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games,” reads a letter that was written by EA Sports executive president and general manager Cam Weber released last week.
FIFA wants to get twice what EA Sports gives them in licensing fees. That could go as high as more than $1 billion.
Another source of friction is that the two can’t come to an agreement over what should be included in the gamer’s exclusive rights.
NYT reports that the governing body would prefer to limit EA’s exclusivity to the narrow parameters around use in a soccer game, most likely in an effort to seek new revenue streams for the rights it would retain.
The video game maker wants to be allowed to explore other ventures right within its FIFA video game ecosystem which will cover things like actual game highlights, NFTs and arena video game tournaments.
The future looks bleak for EA sports as they have started prepping for a post-FIFA future. They have trademarked EA Sports F.C in Britain and the EU.
It’s worth noting that EA Sports already has license agreements with other football organizations around the world like UEFA and FIFPro(a global players union) which allows them to use players names and their likenesses.
It’s unlikely the naming change will affect the actual game for people who play the video game. However, this dispute might affect the profitable and premium sectors of the game including Ultimate Team that made $1.2 billion for EA in 2020 that users paid for to build the best teams.