FIFA is seeking more than double of what EA typically pays for the use of its professional football license, a report from the New York Times has discovered.
According to sources familiar with the talks, FIFA are asking EA to pay over $1 billion for each four-year World Cup cycle – a demand that could see EA renaming one of the biggest gaming brands in the world.
The dispute goes beyond just money, however. Talks between the two companies have stalled, as they have been unable to agree upon what the gamer’s exclusive rights should include.
FIFA wants to limit EA’s exclusive rights to just the video games themselves. EA meanwhile wants to use the FIFA brand to explore other business ventures, such as game tournaments and NFTs.
A decision is expected by the end of the year, but EA has already made public overtures to a future for the series under a new name. In a recent post, EA suggested that it was considering moving on from the FIFA brand.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games. This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”
While this could just be a negotiation tactic, it could be a sign that EA is preparing for the possibility of the talks failing and losing the rights to the FIFA name.
“I don’t recall them ever putting out a statement saying we’re in negotiations on a renewal of the license,” said Unity Technologies’ Peter Moore (previously at EA) to the New York Times. “That’s clearly sending a little bit of a signal.”