Video Game Chronicles reported that they have received a leaked message from an anonymous source that were from EA’s company meeting back in November. In the meeting, CEO Andrew Wilson apparently made remarks that point to a desire to remove the FIFA name brand from the franchise. Last October, EA revealed that they were discussing the future of the FIFA franchise, specifically with the license of the brand name itself. The football (soccer) governing body’s namesake has been attached to the series for an extremely long time, and this was also the first time that either side publicly revealed that the agreement was up for discussion. However, it looks like things have taken a bit of a turn towards removing the name from the series altogether.
VGC: EA CEO Andrew Wilson is apparently ready to drop the FIFA brand from the games, calling it “an impediment”
– sees value in hundreds of other licenses, especially outside WC years
– players want non-FIFA brands in the games too (e.g. Nike)
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In what appears to be a fairly candid comment, Wilson did not mince words when sharing his feelings on the FIFA name. “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 goes onto say that whenever they release a new entry in a non-World Cup year they should be able to expand outside of FIFA and utilize it for other purposes. “We have 300 other licenses that give us the content that our players engage with the most and the most deeply.”
Wilson then goes back to the FIFA name and doesn’t seem to hold back when seeing the brand name as part of EA’s future.” As we’ve looked to the future we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA license has actually been an impediment to that.” Wilson said. “Our FIFA licence has actually precluded us from doing a lot of this stuff. Again, 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.” Wilson goes a bit further and drives the point again about FIFA “just being a name on the box” before claiming that he has actually brought all of these issues up with the governing body already.
When EA originally posted that blog about their future with FIFA back in October, FIFA themselves fired back with a post saying that they were willing to work with other video game companies who wish to utilize their licenses. Now that these new comments have emerged from the EA November meeting, from their CEO of all people, it’s more than likely that FIFA will take this as a slight and begin to look for others to do business with. EA and FIFA’s current 10 year deal is set to expire when the World Cup ends later this year between November and December. By then, FIFA might have a new partner for their licenses, and EA will probably be ready to move on with something else.