EA CEO appears to be very calm about losing the FIFA license

Photo: EA Sports

Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, told the staff that the publisher already thinks it’s okay to lose. FIFA license.

EA and FIFA have been partners for 30 years, but that relationship is at risk as the pair have not agreed to renew their long-term contract.

We had a while ago, a The New York Times Negotiations between the two companies have stalled, the report said, with the FIA ​​demanding broader rights in EA and an option to double existing fees to $2.5 billion over the next decade. As microfinance has become so popular, FIFA says the cost should increase as the revenue EA gets through licensing is measured exponentially.

Shortly after the October New York Times report, Wilson convened an internal meeting to explain EA’s position. Details of that meeting have been shared VGC.

When asked at the meeting why EA is considering terminating the agreement with FIFA, Wilson said:

I’d be more open… than I was on the outside. We have had a wonderful relationship with FIFA for the past 30 years. We’ve made billions of dollars…that’s huge. We have created one of the biggest entertainment features on the planet.

I would argue – perhaps a bit biased – that the FIFA brand has more meaning as a video game than as the football governing body. We don’t see it as an end in itself and try to be arrogant. We have worked hard to make FIFA understand what we need for the future.

What we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year are the four letters on the front of the box, and most people won’t even look at the box because they buy the game digitally.

Of course in a World Cup year we can get to the World Cup, but on an annual basis in the broader context of world football the World Cup is important but not very important. We have another 300 licenses that provide us with content that engages our players more and more deeply.

Wilson went so far as to say that FIFA’s licensing actually thwarted EA’s ambitions for its video game series:

As we look to the future, we want to develop ownership, and ironically, the FIFA license is really a hindrance to that.

Our players tell us that they want the right cultural and commercial brands in their markets, and they are deeply rooted in the game…brands like Nike. But since FIFA has a relationship with Adidas, we couldn’t do that.

Our players tell us that they want more game modes, different things beyond 11v11, and different types of gameplay. I’ll tell you it’s hard for FIFA to figure out the kinds of things we want to create, because they say our license covers only certain kinds.

Our players want us to expand more broadly into the digital environment…Our fans tell us we need to go and participate in this space.

In fact, our FIFA license prevents us from doing many things like this. Again, FIFA is a name in the box, but they limit our ability to move players to the areas they want.

Our players tell us we need to move fast: “You want to get things done quickly.” To do this, we need the freedom to be truly creative, innovative and experimental in the marketplace.

Due to the nature of approval schedules and various things surrounding our FIFA license, it has been very challenging and we are moving much slower than we would like.

He says EA will not be compensated when it comes to how much FIFA expects to acquire rights:

speak with [FIFA president] Gianni Infantino said a few weeks ago, “Listen, money is one thing: we don’t want to overpay for this license. But it’s not just about that, it’s really about our ability to deliver the games and experiences our fans want at the right time.

Wilson says EA is keen to continue the relationship and is doing everything it can – but if it doesn’t, that’s really good for the company and its fan base:

At the end of the day, I had no idea if we’d ever get there. Ironically, if we don’t, we can rename our game and control this global soccer system, and we’ll create, ironically, more revenue, more fans, and more engagement over time.

As we work with more partners, we can create more game modes and expand deeper and broader into the digital ecosystem surrounding the football fabric. In fact, it can move very quickly.

We’ll work on this, we’ll be thoughtful and we want to be good partners with FIFA, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually moved in a different direction. At the end of the day, I think it’s best for our players to keep typing the four letters in the square.

If negotiations fail, they will come FIFA 23 The caddy will be the final match in EA’s FIFA-branded lineup. The 10-year contract after the World Cup in Qatar expires later this year.

EA already exists pointed out If it loses its license, it will keep all existing league, player and stadium licenses. FIFA responded with its own statementIt says it is open to working with other video game companies to prevent contract renewals.

EA has submitted many trademark applications EA Sports FCa Possible alternative name to the series.

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