FIFA Announces Own Game Plan and Will End Agreement with EA Sports

Announcement comes a week after EA Sports confirmed it was studying the end of naming rights for the FIFA franchise

Erich Beting – São Paulo (SP) Published on 10/15/2021, at 3:27 pm – Updated at 3:47 pm

FIFA has taken another step in a strategy that will mean the end of the licensing agreement with EA Sports for the production of the FIFA game franchise, which in the last 20 years has grossed around US$ 20 billion and which earned the football entity around $150 million a year.

The entity has just sent a press release stating that “it will adopt a new commercial positioning in games and e-Sports to ensure that it is in a better position to make decisions that benefit all those interested in football”.

While not yet confirming the termination of the agreement with EA Sports in the statement, FIFA stated that it has been working directly with developers to move the “eFIFA” project forward, a series of electronic competitions that had previously been announced.

The FIFA statement reinforces a suspicion that had grown stronger last week. On October 7th, Electronic Arts (EA) had already given hints that the marriage with the highest football entity was on its way. Upon announcing the sales record at the launch of the FIFA 22 game, the company also commented on the future of the agreement with the entity.

“As we look to the future, we are also exploring the idea of ​​renaming our EA Sports global football games. This means that we are reviewing our licensing agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses throughout the football world,” said Cam Weber, Managing Director of EA Sports.

Now, the FIFA statement makes the end of licensing even clearer:

“It is clear that this must be a space occupied by more than one party controlling all rights. Now technology companies are actively competing to partner with FIFA, its platforms and global tournaments,” said the entity.

The decision to split from EA Sports came after FIFA instituted a department responsible for looking into the gaming area. The industry came to the conclusion that, having a game of its own, the entity could earn much more than the $150 million it had in annual licensing from EA Sports. Even though it is FIFA’s biggest revenue in an individual deal, calculations were that the gaming area could yield $1 billion a year to the entity, at least.

This, incidentally, was the amount put on the table to keep the EA Sports license in force, as disclosed by the Sportico website. EA Sports, of course, balked. This does not mean, however, the end of the company’s football game, the best-selling in the world in the segment. It has licensing agreements with other entities, such as UEFA, as well as with clubs and athlete entities. Thus, the trend is for EA Sports to launch a game with another name and other competitions.

FIFA, on the other hand, must bet not only on its own game, using the World Cup brand and the 211 member associations, but on conducting e-Sports competitions globally.

“Games and e-Sports are the fastest growing media sectors on the planet, with new and diverse types of games being released continuously. Therefore, it is of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximize all future opportunities for football and games fans”, declared the entity, in the statement this Friday (15th).

In its solo adventure, FIFA intends to use the World Cup media cannon to power up the newly opened e-Sports area.

“FIFA is excited to use the FIFA World Cup (with 4 billion spectators) and the FIFA Women’s World Cup (with an audience of 1.2 billion) as platforms to launch and integrate exciting new games and e-Sports offers ”, concluded the entity.