The reason EA is planning to change the name of the FIFA games has been revealed: FIFA want to charge them twice as much to use their name.
Considering FIFA 22 has proven an even faster seller than last year’s game, it was a bit of a shock to hear that EA is thinking of changing the name in the future.
They’ve already registered the name EA Sports FC but so far they’ve not revealed why they would want to do such a thing – although it was always pretty obvious that either they or FIFA were asking for more money.
It turns out that it’s the former, with a report in The New York Times revealing that FIFA want more than double the amount of money EA usually pays to use their name and licences, while also limiting how much they can use it outside of video games.
FIFA wants more than $1 billion for the right to use its name for four years, covering a single World Cup cycle – which is more than twice what EA currently pays them.
Not only that but FIFA wants to limit the licence solely to traditional video games, whereas EA wants it to include game highlights, video game tournaments, and NFTs.
FIFA also wants to be able to sell its name and licences to other video games that aren’t sports titles, with The New York Times mentioning Fortnite – although it’s not clear whether that’s just a theoretical example or something that FIFA is already looking into.
Given these demands EA’s contingency plans for a new name make perfect sense, especially as most of the licences for clubs, players, and stadia come from elsewhere, such as player’s union FIFPro – which it signed a new deal with this week, to continue to use real player’s faces in future games.
The only thing EA would really lose, other than the name FIFA, is the World Cup, which is all part of the same FIFA licence and couldn’t be included in a new game, whatever it was called, without working out a new deal.
The arrangement with EA is apparently FIFA’s most lucrative commercial agreement, so if everything falls through the organisation could be in real financial trouble.
Gamers probably don’t care what the game’s called but with the current licensing deal due to end after next year’s World Cup in Qatar it may be that FIFA 23 never happens.
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