Some newly leaked statements have surfaced that appear to show EA CEO Andrew Wilson detail how “the FIFA license has actually been an impediment” to some of the ways EA would like to ”grow the franchise.”
According to a Video Games Chronicle report, Wilson stated “Our players tell us they want more modes of play, different things beyond 11 vs. 11 and different types of gameplay,” and ”I would tell you, it’s been a fight to get FIFA to acknowledge the types of things that’s we want to create because they say our license only covers certain categories… FIFA is just the name on the box, but they’ve precluded our ability to be able to branch into the areas that players want.”
EA has been recently questioning the value of its relationship with FIFA and whether they should continue with the partnership or not. Wilson has reported that gameplay aside, FIFA also limits EA’s ability to include “more cultural and commercial brands” in the game. For example, FIFA’s current relationship with Adidas forbids any Nike branded clothing or items to be included within the games.
Even when FIFA does approve something EA have put forward to them, “because of the nature of the approval timetables and the various things around our FIFA licence, that’s actually been really hard, and we’re moving much slower than we want.”
It seemingly clear that EA’s CEO is a little fed up with the international soccer governing body. Hence why last October EA filed for British and European trademarks for ”EA Sports FC,” suggesting the company is looking to rebrand without the FIFA name, due to the nature of EA’s and FIFA’s relationship.
Going forward, this could mean potentially great things for the franchise, with EA being given the freedom to input the features that fans of the series have been wanting for a long, long time. Only time will tell, I guess.