EA and FIFA have been struggling to come to an agreement in regards to the extremely popular football series–and it all comes down to money.
The New York Times reports that EA and FIFA have spent the last two years in negotiations over the future of the video games series, which the news site reported has brought more than $20 billion for EA over the last 20 years. The series has paid dividends for FIFA, which has made about $150 million per year from EA’s game–due to its licensing agreement. This make’s the game FIFA’s most valuable commercial deal overall.
However, the EA/FIFA deal is set to expire at the end of 2022, and right now, talks are breaking down between the two (according to NYT’s sources). Recently, EA Sports GM Cam Weber released a statement saying EA was considering its options, one of them being dropping the FIFA name altogether. Trademark filings have suggested EA could rebrand the series EA Sport FC. There are also ongoing rumors that EA’s next football game might adopt a free-to-play live service model.
According to the NYT report, FIFA wants “more than double” what it currently gets from EA, and its asking for $1 billion for each four-year World Cup cycle.
FIFA and EA also can’t find common ground on what the overall rights package would include. According to this report, FIFA is asking to limit its exclusivity deal with EA to the football game only. Meanwhile, EA is looking to expand its agreements to also include things like showing real game highlights and selling NFT’s among other things.
EA currently has more than 300 separate licensing agreements with various football organizations around the world, giving them access to more than 17,000 player names and likenesses. It’s obvious that EA could continue the series without FIFA.
The existing deal between FIFA and EA gives the gaming giant the rights to use FIFA’s name and logo in the series title, and allowing the World Cup to be included into the game.
The FIFA series makes money not just from initial game sales, but also from its rather lucrative Ultimate Team Mode, which brings in more than $1 billion every year. EA just recently stated that only 10% of their Ultimate Team players spend money on packs.