FIFA reportedly wants publisher EA to pay more than $1 billion to use the FIFA license for its games — more than double the amount previously agreed upon by the two companies. According to a new report from the New York Times, this financial dispute is one of the main reasons behind Electronic Arts’ recent consideration of renaming the multibillion-dollar sports game series to EA Sports FC.
Multiple sources close to the negotiations reveal that EA and FIFA have been in talks for at least two years about extending their current 10-year licensing deal. As it stands, the current contract will expire after next year’s World Cup in Qatar in November 2022. The main reason, insiders say, is how much money EA will pay FIFA to use the FIFA name and branding. To date, FIFA’s licensing deal with EA has netted the organization approximately $150 million per year.
However, FIFA is now asking for more than $1 billion every four years – in line with the World Cup’s four-year cycle. The main reason behind this push apparently comes from FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who is trying to raise $2 billion to create a new World Cup just for club teams. Infantino also wants to increase the frequency of the World Cup to every two years, instead of the current four-year cycle.
A new report in the @New York times argues that the dispute between EA and FIFA is related to costs and new revenue streams
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 13, 2021
In response, EA Sports GM Cam Weber released a statement earlier this week revealing that EA was “reviewing”. [its] naming rights agreement with FIFA.” EA also recently filed a trademark application in the UK and EU for “EA Sports FC”, positioning it for a potential split. In addition to these financial disputes, FIFA is reportedly trying to limit EA’s exclusivity rights to only use in a football video game, rather than expanding its revenue to other channels. The report claims that this is likely an attempt by FIFA to enter into licensing deals with other publishers such as Epic Games, in order to increase their revenues. However, EA isn’t happy with this and pushed back by stating that it should be allowed to explore other avenues such as “arena video game tournaments” and NFTs.
If you’re a FIFA fan, what would you think if the series might be renamed to EA Sports FC? Let us know in the comments below.
[Source: New York Times]