According to GameRant, Electronic Arts has taken control of the FIFA football franchise for a long time. The first FIFA game was released in 1993, named FIFA International Soccer and published by EA Sports. In the more than 25 years since that time, EA has held the FIFA license and created the best-selling sports video game franchise of all time. However, this empire is coming to an end and the FIFA game is facing a new turning point. A new statement from FIFA itself makes it clear that the EA exclusivity may be coming to an end.
FIFA statement may affect EA’s football game brand
In recent weeks, EA has made it public that its negotiations to continue exclusivity of the FIFA franchise are not going very well. The current contract is worth $150 million per year. With the 10-year contract of EA and FIFA ending after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a decision on a new agreement needs to be made soon, but if there are obstacles for some reason, both will be in a difficult position. .
Aware of the current negotiating situation, FIFA has released a public statement of its intention to ‘expand’ its portfolio of games and e-sports, stating that FIFA wants to end its monopoly on the brand.
Some fans may fear this affects EA’s football game franchise. It will no longer be EA’s FIFA, but something different instead. An alternative name that could be given by EA is EA Sports FC. As for player names and characters, EA has made a longstanding agreement with FIFPro, the company that handles licensing for more than 65,000 soccer players worldwide.
FIFA’s decision could open up all the possibilities regarding EA’s competition. With the ability to license the FIFA brand, competitors including 2K Sports, Sony or Microsoft can enter the lucrative football game market. And if FIFA is seriously considering working with mobile developers, then King, Supercell or even Niantic could be added to the list.
We are still a few months away from reaching any conclusions. The statement from FIFA and EA could simply be a public part of the ongoing negotiations between the two sides. In 2022, EA will most likely still have the exclusive FIFA license, and FIFA 23 will arrive on schedule. Or 2023 could be the first year that there are many FIFA football games from different publishers.