Over $1 billion per four-year World Cup tournament.
Last week, EA shared the surprising news that it is “currently exploring the idea of rebranding” the long-running FIFA Football series – and now we may know why; A new report claims that the FA wants EA to pay “more than double” its existing deal to continue using its licence.
According to the New York Times, the current ten-year agreement between EA and FIFA expires in 2022, and negotiations to extend that deal are set to conclude this year. However, “at least two years of talks” are said to have now stalled as the two sides struggle to agree on specifics, with FIFA wanting to increase the cost of its license “by more than $1 billion per World Cup every four years.” – perhaps eager to benefit from The explosive growth of Ultimate Team, which made EA $1.62 billion in fiscal year 2021, mostly through FIFA.
However, this is not the only sticking point; The New York Times sources say the companies have also failed to agree on what the new deal should cover. EA appears eager to explore other avenues with the FIFA license, such as video game tournaments and digital products like NFTs, while FIFA wants to limit the scope of the deal to pursue the same new opportunities.
As negotiations continue between FIFA and EA, the latter certainly appears to be paving the way forward without the globally recognized FIFA license. A trademark registration was recently spotted on the websites of the UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, indicating that EA is ready to adopt the “EA Sports FC” moniker for football matches.
While EA’s relationship with FIFA appears increasingly fractious, the publisher confirmed yesterday that it will renew its contract with FIFPro, enabling it to continue to use “thousands of player names and formats” alongside its various official tournaments – a move EA said would help it’s “greatest real football expertise”.
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