FIFA is one of the most popular video game brands in the world, with the famous soccer series selling millions each year since it began in 1993.
This is why it was so shocking to hear EA investigate “the idea of renaming” the franchise; Why would you change the name of such a recognizable brand? Well, if a New York Times report is correct, it has a pretty predictable reason: money.
The outlet reports that the current ten-year deal between EA and FIFA expires next year, and the two are trying to finalize the details of the new deal at the time of writing. FIFA – which stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association, in case you are wondering – is supposed to charge “more than double” the current license costs; that would bring it to “more than $ 1 billion for every four-year World Cup cycle”.
This may seem greedy, but it’s worth noting that the mechanics behind the way EA makes money with FIFA has changed dramatically since the last deal was signed in 2012. FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode, which focuses on in-game microtransactions, made the bulk of the $ 1.62 billion EA earned in all of its Ultimate Team modes in all of its sports titles in 2021. In 2015 it was $ 587 million.
FIFA will of course be aware of this – and the emergence of esports events with the video game brand FIFA – and understandably feel that the name is worth more to EA now than it was in 2012 when the previous version of the deal was signed.
Another sticking point with this issue is that the two companies cannot agree on exactly what the new deal should cover. EA plans to expand its use of the FIFA license to cover the video game tournaments mentioned above and watch emerging digital products such as NFTs. However, FIFA is also keen to explore these opportunities – but on their own terms and not through EA’s series.
The end result could be that no agreement has been reached and that EA is doing exactly what it contemplated, renaming one of the most famous video game franchises of all time – meaning we could see a future where neither PES nor FIFA exists in video game form.
Still, considering we gave FIFA 22 a shameful 2/10, most Switch fans might not really be bothered; No matter what the name is on the box, the 2022 version of the game will most likely be a legacy edition on Nintendo’s console anyway.