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EA CEO allegedly claims the FIFA brand is holding soccer games back

EA's CEO recently expressed opinions on the FIFA brand, regarding it as 'an impediment' to soccer video games.

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Electronic Arts and FIFA have not been very quiet about the frustrations regarding their partnership. FIFA wants EA to pay increasingly massive amounts of money for the licensing while EA is wanting to expand outside of what FIFA offers in its brand.

It has led to EA openly considering dropping the FIFA branding. EA CEO Andrew Wilson recently voiced his own opinion on the matter, allegedly claiming that while the FIFA partnership has been important in EA building a brand of competitive soccer games, it’s also just “four letters on the front of the box.”

Wilson allegedly shared these words and more in a recent internal company conversation obtained by Video Games Chronicle. According to the communication, Wilson believes where FIFA was once a valued partner, it has begun to hinder EA from expanding the potential of its soccer video game brand.

“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people don’t even see the box anymore because they buy the game digitally,” Wilson said.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson has allegedly expressed that EA is getting less for its money out of the FIFA brand each year, especially outside World Cup years.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson has allegedly expressed that EA is getting less for its money out of the FIFA brand each year, especially outside World Cup years.

Andrew Wilson would go on to explain that as the EA soccer brand has grown, the FIFA license has actually stifled that growth.

“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,” Wilson continued. “Our players tell us they want more cultural and commercial brands relevant to them in their markets, more deeply embedded in the game… brands like Nike. But because FIFA has a relationship with Adidas, we are not able to do that.”

Indeed, EA has also suggested that it wants to expand its horizons outside the league and player pool that FIFA offers. EA renewed its partnership with FIFPRO, one of the world’s largest player associations, even as it was teasing dropping the FIFA brand. FIFA, in turn, announced it is currently planning a future of esports and video games without EA.

Such being the case, it appears we’re edging ever closer to EA dropping the FIFA brand from its soccer games altogether. As we await what seems to be a certain confirmation, stay tuned to Shacknews for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 23, 2022 12:15 PM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, EA CEO allegedly claims the FIFA brand is holding soccer games back

    • reply
      February 23, 2022 12:19 PM

      “Our players tell us they want more cultural and commercial brands relevant to them in their markets, more deeply embedded in the game… brands like Nike. But because FIFA has a relationship with Adidas, we are not able to do that.”

      https://i.imgur.com/IaZBoKC.gif

      • reply
        February 24, 2022 12:47 AM

        the following sentence sounds plausible, though:
        He continued: “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.

        but then
        “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. uhhh 🤔

        but yeah, the restrictions that the licensors lay down are often kinda stupid, so i could see FIFA being like 'no, you have to make a football game exactly like this. no more, no less.'

      • reply
        February 24, 2022 2:38 AM

        yeah they've really nailed what their yearly assembly-line recycled garbage machine needs, better brand affiliations.

        these people don't play games and it shows.

    • reply
      February 23, 2022 12:20 PM

      I can see that. FIFA is not necessarily everything there is related to soccer. This is way stuff like the Backyard brand did so well. It's not always about the big teams.

    • reply
      February 23, 2022 1:07 PM

      1 year from now: FIFA is proud to present its new partnership with Sony, for all platforms like MLB The Show.

    • reply
      February 23, 2022 1:22 PM

      If anyone was holding games back it'd be EA and annualized releases.

      • reply
        February 23, 2022 1:31 PM

        Yuppers. They really don't want to pay the FIFA tax no more. Not that I can blame them, FIFA has been recently been wanting something like $1 billion every 4 years now from EA for the rights and licenses, but it's a huge cash cow for EA beyond that.

        They'll come up with any excuses they can to make the general public okay with the loss of all things FIFA, including the long established name of the game franchise itself. Getting people on board with piddly disputes over brands is just the start.

        • reply
          February 24, 2022 12:35 AM

          It's nuts that FIFA-the-org wants a billion dollars for FIFA-the-game to use their name, but then again they've always been greedy fucks.

          At this point, FIFA-the-game strengthens the brand of FIFA-the-org, not the other way around. The only thing EA loses by ditching FIFA is the World Cup licensing. Team names, logos, player names and likenesses are all licensed separately. Having the major European leagues in the game is far more important than the FIFA stuff.

          It's not obvious if you don't keep up with soccer, but FIFA-the-org isn't the NBA or the NFL. They are more like the International Olympic Committee, i.e. they don't really represent the sport outside their one tournament held every four years, and they are steeped in corruption.

          With the shit show of the World Cup in Qatar approaching, now is as good a time as ever for EA to ditch FIFA from their game.

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