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EA Says The FIFA Name Is Holding Back Its Football Games

EA Says The FIFA Name Is Holding Back Its Football Games

According to a new report, EA believes they'll have more freedom to introduce new modes and content without the FIFA licensing.

Ah yes, FIFA, my favourite game in which there is a ball you hit with your foot. In case you missed it, in October last year, it was revealed that EA were strongly considering dropping the FIFA name from their football games going forward. At the time, The New York Times reported that this was largely due to the licensing costs, as FIFA had asked EA to pay double what it already does to use the name. This would see them pay a whopping $1 billion every four years, just for the privilege of using those four letters across the front of the box.

Now, it seems even more likely the two are going to cut ties. The CEO of EA, Andrew Wilson, revealed in comments provided anonymously to VGC that he believes the company would be better off ending their relationship with FIFA, as the license has been “an impediment”. 

While you're here, be sure to check out some of our favourite FIFA wins and fails below.

“As we’ve looked to the future we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA licence has actually been an impediment to that,” he said. “Our players tell us they want more cultural and commercial brands relevant to them in their markets, more deeply embedded in the game […] brands like Nike. But because FIFA has a relationship with Adidas, we are not able to do that.”

He continued, explaining that the content EA want to put in the games, including new game modes, is being held back by the FIFA licensing: “Our players tell us they want more modes of play, different things beyond 11v11 and different types of gameplay. I would tell you, it’s been a fight to get FIFA to acknowledge the types of things that we want to create, because they say our licence only covers certain categories,” he said. “Our FIFA licence has actually precluded us from doing a lot of this stuff. Again, FIFA is just the name on the box, but they’ve precluded our ability to be able to branch into the areas that players want.

“Our players are telling us they want us to move really quick: ‘we want you guys doing stuff fast’. And in order to do that, we need a level of freedom to be truly creative, innovative and experiment in the marketplace.”

If you ask me, I’d say that consistently releasing a new game every single year is “doing stuff fast”, but hey, what do I know. Either way, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll see the FIFA games being branded as “EA Sports FC”, which was apparently trademarked last year. By the sounds of it, the games can actually only get better if this happens, so it’s by no means the end of the world, although it would certainly be the end of an era. 

Featured Image Credit: EA

Topics: FIFA, EA