EA: “Using the FIFA brand name is a hurdle and it’s only four letters long”

Electronic Arts have been using the FIFA name for their soccer games for years, but there’s a good chance they’ll get away with it with the upcoming release. This is because FIFA wants a large sum to use the name, which EA does not like.

Negotiations are said to have stalled a bit, so EA later held an internal meeting in October of last year. Details of this meeting have now been shared with VGC And it turns out EA isn’t too concerned about the chance of losing the FIFA license.

The CEO of the publisher, Andrew Wilson, had pointed out that it’s about four letters on the cover, which is where a lot of people buy games digitally nowadays. So for visibility between toys on the shelves, it shouldn’t matter anymore.

“I’m going to be more open…more open than I have been to the outside world. We’ve had a great relationship with FIFA for the last 30 years. We’ve created billions in value…it’s just huge. We’ve created one of the biggest entertainment venues on the planet.” .

I would argue – and this may be somewhat biased – that the FIFA brand has more meaning as a video game than as football’s governing body. We don’t take that for granted and try not to be arrogant. We have worked hard to try to make FIFA understand what we need for the future.

Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year are the four letters on the front of the chest, in a world where most people don’t see the chest anymore because they buy the game digitally.”

In addition, Wilson also raises the question of whether it is wise to continue to license FIFA, because sometimes it is an obstacle in a creative sense. Here he shows an example that FIFA is associated with Adidas, which means that EA cannot work with other brands in the game. This goes against what society wants and this is more diverse in that respect.

“As we look to the future, we want to grow the franchise, and ironically, the FIFA licensing has actually been an obstacle to that. Our players tell us they want more cultural and business related brands that are relevant to them in their markets, and to be more entrenched in the game… Brands like Nike.But due to FIFA’s relationship with Adidas, we are unable to do so.

Our players tell us that they want more game modes, different things beyond 11v11, and different types of gameplay. I’d like to tell you, it’s been a battle to get FIFA to recognize the kinds of things we want to create, because they say our license only covers certain categories.

Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem on a larger scale… Our fans tell us that they want us to go and participate in this space. In fact, our FIFA license prevented us from doing a lot of these things. Again, FIFA is just the name on the box, but they prevented us from being able to branch out into the areas the players wanted.”

In other words, it feels like FIFA is trying really hard to do the most difficult thing. The franchise seems to be better off without FIFA as a brand name than it is with it. Whether it will reach it remains to be seen. What do you think?

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Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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