“Fifa International Soccer”, “Fifa soccer” then simply “Fifa” attached to the corresponding year: since 1993, Electronic Arts (EA) has released 29 editions of its football video game. The American firm posted, in 2021, 325 million copies sold, a record on the planet for a sports simulation having generated 20 billion dollars in turnover, according to the New York Times.
Fifa wanted to multiply the price of the contract by three
A goose with golden eggs for EA Sports, but which could bring in even more for Fifa, the International Football Federation, according to the latter. Its contract with the American company ending this year, it would therefore have asked, in order to continue to use its name for the next ten years, to raise it to a price of between 150 and 250 million dollars per year – that still in progress is estimated at 85 million dollars.
On May 10, Electronic Arts responded indirectly in the negative by announcing a new football video game starting next season, EA Sports FC.
The FIFA license, “an obstacle” for EA Sports
If the official announcement of the rupture dates back less than five months, Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, had more than hinted at his employees last fall, as demonstrated by a video unveiled by the Video Games Chronicle site: “What we get from Fifa in a year without a World Cup (Editor’s note: organized by the world body every four years), are 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 online. As we look to the future, we want to grow the franchise and, ironically, the Fifa license has actually been an obstacle to that,” Wilson said there, backing up his speech with a sharp tackle: “The Fifa brand has more meaning as a video game than as the governing body of football”.
EA Sports FC with “real” names and still the “Utimate Team” mode
From next year, Electronic Arts will therefore do without Fifa. But it can always use the real names of players (except those belonging to clubs having a license with another publisher) and competitions (except the World Cup). More than 700 teams and 19,000 footballers as well as the vast majority of competitions are integrated into its database through direct agreements.
The Californian publisher will also keep its “Ultimate Team” mode, where players can play matches online with a team created from players exchanged for virtual currency and/or won in packs, “loot boxes”. The credits to obtain them are obtained by winning matches and mini-games or by buying them with your credit card. This mode is the most popular with players, and the most profitable for Electronic Arts which, according to RTL, would have “raised 1.6 billion dollars last year, thanks to its “loot boxes” (present in several video games), more than a third of its annual income.
Infantino: “The constant is the name Fifa and it will always remain the best”
While the Belarusian publisher Strikerz announced the release of a UFL football video game on January 27, 2023, Fifa intends, for its part, to release its football game. Gianni Infantino, the president of the world body, announced it indirectly last May: “I can assure you that the only authentic and real game that bears the name of Fifa will be the best available for players and football fans. . The name Fifa is the only global and original title. Fifa 23, Fifa 24, Fifa 25 and Fifa 26, and so on… The constant is the name Fifa and the game will forever be the best”.
Between Fifa and EA Sports, the divorce is well done and a new match is about to start.
letelegramme Fr Trans