For nearly three decades, the term ‘FIFA’ has not only meant the Federation Internationale de Football Association (i.e. the International Football Federation), but also one of the most famous sports video game series ever. However, everything could change from the summer following the World Cup in Qatar. As reported by the New York Times, the negotiations for the renewal of the ten-year contract that binds the global body of football to EA Sports would have been fruitless.
Cam Weber’s letter
The executive president and general manager of the Californian software house Cam Weber had already hypothesized a revolution in the name of the video game last week. In a letter published on 7 October, one week after the launch of the new FIFA 22, he wrote: “Looking to the future, we are also considering the idea of renaming our football games. This means that we are reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses around the world of football. ” A ten-year deal with a current value of about $ 150 million a year, which, according to the NYT, FIFA would like to increase to 250. Since the early 2000s, the game’s sales have exceeded $ 20 billion, relying on today over 9 million players.
Future business moves
At the base of FIFA’s request there would be the exponential growth of Ultimate Team: the online multiplayer game mode that guarantees EA extra income thanks to microtransactions. In addition to money, there would also be a motivation for future commercial moves: EA seems to want to use the license also to explore the path of tournaments and digital products such as NFT, a field that FIFA would like to plow independently. While the uncertainty about the future of the name grows, the software house has announced that it has found the agreement for the renewal with FIFPRO: real names, player features and licenses with the championships will be ensured even in the event of a farewell of the FIFA brand.