Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has reportedly criticized FIFA for “hampering” its football franchise, telling employees it would be better off without the restrictions associated with the expensive license. According to Video Games Chronicle sources, Wilson recently held a meeting with staff in which he acknowledged he had a “great” career spanning 30 years with FIFA, but said the organization is making it increasingly difficult for publishers to innovate, simply calling FIFA. “four letters on a box.”
Why an EA FIFA split was inevitable
EA and FIFA have been in talks since late last year. In October 2021, reports emerged that FIFA wanted to charge $1 billion every four years for the license, but the organization released a statement claiming it simply no longer wants one company to control and operate the brand. Publicly, EA has only said that it does not expect any negative consequences from losing the license, which it claims it no longer needs. In the aforementioned meeting, Wilson is said to have told employees that FIFA continues to prevent changes that players want.
“Our players tell us they want more cultural and commercial brands that are relevant to them in their markets, more deeply rooted in the game… brands like Nike. But because FIFA has a relationship with Adidas, we can’t do that,” Wilson said. “Our players tell us they want more game modes, things other than 11v11 and different types of gameplay. I’d tell you, it’s been a battle to get FIFA to recognize what kind of things we want to create because they say our license only covers certain categories.Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem more widely…our fans tell us they want that we go and join that space.”
Opinion: EA FIFA split will be interesting to watch
Zamena writes… Aside from EA’s behavior and controversial approach to microtransactions, the company is currently the undisputed king of sports franchises and remains unmatched. I’m sure there are plenty of publishers rubbing their hands and waiting to get their hands on the FIFA license, but that doesn’t mean much if they don’t have what it takes to build what EA is known for. For the foreseeable future, at least this will be more FIFA’s loss than EA’s, but the latter will have to overcome a lot of legal challenges if it plans to make football games because there are so many things that only FIFA has legal rights to .
In other news, Elden Ring is one of the highest-rated games in recent years, and former CD Projekt RED developers have announced a new dark fantasy RPG.