According to a new report from VGC, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson believes that the company doesn’t need to keep paying for the FIFA name going forward. An internal source at EA was able to provide VGC with the details of a meeting held last November.
In the meeting, Wilson said he believed that the FIFA name had been “an impediment” to EA rather than benefitting the company and its mega-franchise. Interestingly, Wilson also said that FIFA, the organization, had stopped EA from expanding its game. EA had supposedly wanted to expand the game to include modes outside of the traditional 11v11 format. What those ideas entailed is not clear at this time.
Last year, EA and FIFA got into a public war of words about the future of the licensing agreement. Currently, EA has a 10-year deal with FIFA but it expires after the release of the next game, FIFA 23. When re-negotiating the deal FIFA reportedly asked for $2.5 billion, double what the organization charged EA last time.
The meeting that has been leaked to VGC took place at around the same time that all of this went public last year. In the meeting, Wilson argued that EA’s FIFA game now has more name value than FIFA itself. FIFA is the governing body of world football. Wilson isn’t necessarily wrong about that assumption. Outside of World Cup years, when EA gets to put the World Cup in the game, Wilson said there’s little point to the agreement. “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 also said that he isn’t sure if EA and FIFA are going to be able to come to an agreement. Though he doesn’t believe that is the end of the world for the FIFA series. Wilson said he believes that EA will be able to make its soccer game into an even bigger franchise if it doesn’t have to follow the restrictions that FIFA puts upon it.