EA reviewing their agreement with FIFA may have been caused by their demands to double their fee. FIFA are now seeking other developers.
On October 12th, EA Sports and the global union of professional football players- FIFPRO- reportedly announced they were extending their contract with one another, sharing a “long-term commitment.” This grants EA the rights to use the image of professional soccer players supported by the union; along with those in the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, LaLiga Santander, and more.
The New York Times reported on the 13th a possible motive for the rocky relationship between EA and FIFA. Despite sales surpassing $20 billion USD over twenty years, and worth $150 million USD a year to EA, two years of talks to renew the contract have come to an impasse; according to “multiple people close to the negotiations.”
FIFA is reportedly seeking double what it currently gets from EA Sports. This means FIFA would receive over $1 billion USD across four years (the cycle of tournaments leading up to the World Cup). VGC notes this would give FIFA a total of $2.5 billion USD over the next 10 years (as the current contract was written for 10 years).
The exclusive rights of gamers are also a sticking point- FIFA wanting to focus more on the soccer game, while EA Sports wants to explore other ventures including tournaments, and digital products such as NFTs. The agreement is currently set to end after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but a decision will likely be decided by the end of this year.
Finally, GamesIndustry.biz reports FIFA are now looking to other developers. On October 15th they announced they sought “to widen [its] gaming and esports portfolio.”
“FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and esports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights. […] Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments.”
FIFA reportedly stated they are working with (in GamesIndustry’s words) “a number of developers, investors, and analysts to devise a long-term strategy in gaming and esports.” They are also seeking to use the World Cup and Women’s World Cup “to launch and integrate” new games and esports competitions.
Image: FIFA 22 official website