If there’s one crown jewel in EA’s money printing wallet, it’s FIFA games, and most importantly, FIFA Ultimate Team, a component of the game that brings the company billions of dollars in. through microtransactions.
And yet drama is brewing with the franchise, as a recent New York Times report suggests FIFA is asking EA $ 1 billion over the next four years to license its properties. This deal would also include limitations on how the game could be monetized after its initial sale, which could theoretically have an impact on Ultimate Team.
EA seems to prefer… not to do all of that, and would be comfortable ditching the FIFA brand (which has come with its own baggage these days), avoiding paying them that mountain of money and money. be limited on how they can monetize their game.
It’s important to recognize that FIFA without FIFA would still be the same game that exists now. It is not the case that if EA no longer had the FIFA license, they would lose all rights to the names of the team and players. These agreements are negotiated with separate organizations such as UEFA, which manages the Champions League, or FIFPro, the players’ union. In total, EA has around 300 license agreements covering all aspects of the game. FIFA may be the most important, but the game can certainly continue without it.
If you need further evidence that FIFA may not be FIFA soon enough, EA has already registered the “EA Sports FC” trademark in a few regions, implying that this could become the new name of their title. football in the future. It seems unlikely that with all these other licenses obtained, just about anything pass FIFA’s name and internal brand are expected to change, and we would certainly see Ultimate Team continue, as EA will never, ever want to give up on this under any circumstance.
It is possible that FIFA will realize that it is not quite in the position of power that it thinks it is and is rethinking its terms to make this deal work. But for now, it seems pretty likely that if something doesn’t change, FIFA will get a new game and the term will revert to being associated with the actual organization only, not the video game. We’ll see how it ends at the end and how far EA is able to push on its own.
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