Electronic Arts and FIFA are in a bit of a cost dispute, according to a New York Times report stating contract renewal talks have stalled.
With EA’s current 10-year contract with FIFA set to expire after the 2022 World Cup, it seems the stalled negotiations over EA’s ability to use FIFA and FIFA World Cup branding boils mainly down to money.
According to the report, FIFA wants more than double from what EA currently pays. EA would need to pay $1 billion every four years for each World Cup cycle. Currently, organization earns $150 million from EA for the FIFA license.
Aside from money, the report also highlights another issue: what should be considered exclusive rights for players. FIFA wants to limit EA’s exclusivity in order to find new revenue streams for its retainable rights. According to The New York Times, EA plans to include actual game highlights, arena tournaments and digital products like NFTs.
If the companies fail to reach an agreement, the franchise will no longer have FIFA branding or any FIFA-related content. The failure to sign a new agreement would not affect any other licenses such as player names or likenesses. EA has recently signed a new deal ..
It would, however, force EA to change the game of the almost 30-year-old franchise, possibly to EA Sports FC which was recently trademarked by the company. The possibility of a new name for the franchise was alluded to by EA Sports GM Cam Weber last week.
The loss of FIFA branding may or may not hinder sales of future football/soccer projects for EA, but many seem to feel the FIFA organization may take a hit due to the lack of exposure outside the realm of sports, not to mention it would forgo the $150 million a year it makes off EA alone.
The FIFA series has sold over 325 million copies as of 2021 and has raked in over $20 billion since 1993. The most recent iteration, FIFA 22, was released on October 1 and as of last week, had 9.1 million players with over 7.6 million Ultimate Team squads created and over 460 million matches played.
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