Discussion has been going around during the past week about EA potentially dropping the FIFA name for FIFA 23. The speculation was started by EA themselves during a post on their website where they announced for the first time that they may be considering changing the name due to the end of the naming rights contract with FIFA. Currently, EA pays FIFA for the right to call their games FIFA 20, FIFA 21, FIFA 22, etc. That agreement is at an end with FIFA 22 and needs to be renewed.
It’s rumored that FIFA is asking EA for $1 billion for the naming rights over four years. Or, $250 million for the right to name the game FIFA 23. It’s important to note that the naming rights don’t come with any of the league, team, or player licenses. EA has to purchase those separately. FIFA wants $1 billion for the name alone.
Now, EA is no angel of a company. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. But for all the scrutiny that EA gets in the gaming community, FIFA is 1000x worse. FIFA is emperor palatine, EA is Anakin pod-racing in comparison. The negotiations between the two organizations have become very public. First, EA said they were “exploring their options”, then the $1 billion figure came out, then it was $2.5 billion and now FIFA has said they’re shopping the name around to other studios. Nobody comes out looking good in this situation.
But the fact is, the FIFA name is not the draw to EA’s games. EA has had a monopoly on the football game market for so long that they could call it whatever they like. EA Football 23, FUT 23, Generic Football Game 23. It doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, all people really want is the football game that EA puts out, whatever name that may be under. For that reason, there’s no way that EA should be paying $1 billion or $2.5 billion for the name.