It almost seemed a bit too good to be true when EA recently said they would like to rebrand the FIFA franchise in order to focus more on grassroots and womens football, among others. But, as if anyone is surprised, it looks like the main reason was money all along, as FIFA is apparently looking to charge twice as much for their licensing fees.
According to a new report, the FIFA organization is asking for more than double for it’s licensing fees, which means EA would have to fork over $1 billion for every four-year cycle of the World Cup series. EA, of course, didn’t like the idea of paying more money for something that already makes a boat load of cash, and has clearly decided to part ways with FIFA.
$1 billion is a lot of money, but to EA that’s pretty much pocket change when you consider that the money they made from Ultimate Team alone (which includesFIFA,NFL, and NHL games) was around $1.5 billion in 2020. That’s nearly $6 billion in 4 years from microtransactions alone, and when you’re working with that much money is a fee of $1 billion really not that worth it?
But that’s not all the reason, as FIFA apparently wants to also limit EA’s monetization opportunities for their FIFA games so that they can pursue them themselves, which include “highlights of actual games, arena video game tournaments and digital products like NFTs.” Yes, you read that right, EA wants to explore NFTs in FIFA.
Giving up the FIFA license also doesn’t necessarily mean EA loses out all that much, as they will still keep the exclusive rights to UEFA Champions League, CONMEBOL Libertadores, Premier League, Bundesliga, LaLiga Santander, and more. So really at this point the FIFA brand name is just that: a recognisable brand name.
There are worries that with EA wanting to distance itself from the FIFA branding, this might affect sales as FIFA is recognisable. But as many have pointed out already, EA’s dominance in the market will likely help them through the transition. What could the next game be called then? According to a trademark in Europe, it could be called “EA Sports FC,” though it’s likely just a placeholder for now and won’t be the actual final name. A final decision on the matter is expected by the end of 2021.
What do you think? Is EA just being selfish here? Or are there good enough reasons for this? How do you feel about the new ways of monetization EA is looking into? And how do you feel about the EA Sports FC branding? Let us know!