EA has once again hinted that it could be abandoning the FIFA license for future games in the series, which would force the company to adopt a new name.
VGC reports that EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, has claimed the company could be better off ending its relationship with FIFA, as negotiations stall for a new agreement for 2023 onwards.
In a meeting with employees back in November, Wilson reportedly said, “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.
“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.
“Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem more broadly… our fans are telling us they want us to go and participate in that space. 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.”
It’s unclear which features EA has been blocked from implementing, although it’s still certainly interesting to hear that FIFA has put limitations on the studio.
Money also seems to have had an impact on negotiations, as New York Times reports that FIFA is demanding a payment of $2.5 billion (double the cost of the previous agreement) for EA to continue using the license.
Don’t worry about losing the ability to play as the likes of Mo Salah at Anfield though, as EA has implied it would still be able to retain the the licencing for players and stadiums, since such deals are arranged separately. The only thing that would potentially change is the name on the front of the box.
VGC suggests that FIFA 23 could be the last game in the series (ignoring the upcoming World Cup editions) to use the FIFA licensing. So what could next year’s entry be called instead? Reports indicate that EA has already filed a trademark for ‘EA Sports FC’. Only time will tell whether EA is simply bluffing, or genuinely serious about pulling the plug and adopting a new name.