Electronic Arts has indicated that it may discontinue its collaboration with FIFA for future football games. In a blog post, EA Sports GM Cam Weber stated that the company is “exploring” the idea of rebranding its series as part of its rights deal discussions with FIFA.
FIFA, the worldwide regulatory organisation of real-world football, has a name rights deal with the highly successful brand, and has always had one. EA has released a main series game with the trademark every year since 1995 (with the Mega Drive version of FIFA International Soccer predating that), as well as a number of additional games like FIFA 64.
“As we look ahead, we’re considering rebranding our global EA SPORTS football games. This implies we’re looking at our naming rights deal with FIFA, which is separate from all of our other official agreements and licences across the world.”
The long-standing licence arrangement between EA Sports and FIFA is similar to the one it had with the NCAA for the college football video game it released from 1997 to 2013. EA instead struck an agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company to acquire the rights to player names, stadiums, and other real-world features.
Returning to the game, Weber stated that edition 22 is off to a great start. Since its inception, it has attracted 9.1 million participants, with 7.6 million Ultimate Team squads established. People have played 460 million matches in total.
Whatever EA Sports has paid the worldwide football governing body, it has merely purchased the game’s title. The game of course, owns the World Cup, but the video game’s now-biennial incorporation of its men’s and women’s events are governed by a separate licence agreement.