EA Sports, the sports division of Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game developers in the world, is thinking of changing its name to FIFA, its most successful title in nearly thirty years. The name of the video game is in fact granted by FIFA, the body that governs world football, but the current ten-year agreement between the parties expires next year.
According to what was recently reported by the New York Times, from the next agreement, FIFA would like to receive double the 150 million dollars that EA Sports pays every year to be able to call the video game this way and therefore associate it with the most famous brand in world football. Following requests from FIFA, EA Sports would be considering the possibility of changing its name and becoming totally independent.
The intention was vaguely anticipated in a statement published last October 7 in which the company had explained “that it had undertaken to review the agreement on naming rights with FIFA, which is separate from all other partnerships and official licenses of the game”.
The agreement between EA Sports and FIFA has been in effect since 1993 and is renewed periodically. In the last 28 years, every edition of the video game has been sold as FIFA, and this is considered one of the reasons behind the worldwide and ten-year success of the title that shows no signs of waning: over 31 million people around the world have played the penultimate edition. , and already 9 million have played the last one, released on October 1st. Since 1993, the overall sales of the video game have exceeded 20 billion dollars.
FIFA initially sold off its brand to EA Sports because at the time, in the 1990s, it underestimated the popularity of football video games on consoles and the commercial value that the title could bring. Over the years, however, he realized what he had on his hands and got better deals, up to $ 150 million a year under the latest contract.
According to the business newspaper Bloomberg, it cannot be excluded that EA Sports, publicly assuming the end of the collaboration, is actually trying to take a strong position in the negotiations. Because perhaps it could also do without the organization. If the benefits brought to the video game by the FIFA brand are in fact undeniable, what really influences the choices of the public and the sales volumes are the individual licenses that guarantee the use of original names and brands of teams, players and leagues, which with FIFA they have nothing to do with it.
Always second Bloomberg, the end of the collaboration would damage FIFA much more, whose presence in the game requires nothing and brings only benefits, both in economic and image terms, in a historical period in which it does not enjoy great popularity, between scandals and unpopular proposals .
Also, if FIFA wants to stay in the world of video games, there is no alternative to EA Sports. The last real competitor of FIFA, or the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series developed by the Japanese Konami, has not withstood the competition of recent years and in fact no longer exists. From this year, PES exists in the form of eFootball, a free video game whose launch version made people talk only for the blunders it contained.
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