FIFA’s chase of $1bn+ from EA Sports license could cost them $150m a year

October 25 – The cost to FIFA of losing the EA Sports license for the exclusivity over use of the FIFA brand in its videogame is reportedly put at $150 million annually.

The video game license is FIFA’s single biggest licensing deal. According to the New York Times, FIFA were asking for more than $1 billion for a renewal of the license. FIFA were also reportedly asking for a share of in-game purchases which are reckoned to generate more than €1 billion, as well as a restriction of the EA license to the game only and the right to allow FIFA to sell licenses and digital product to other game makers.

It looks like FIFA could have massively overplayed its hand with EA calling FIFA’s bluff and saying they are reviewing the license deal and ultimately whether FIFA’s name on their game merits a $1 billion license FIFA.

EA have already registered another name that could be used for its game – EA Sports FC – and with changes to the game really only requiring a stripping out of FIFA branding, the game maker looks to be holding all the negotiating cards. It is also holding the date on more than 150 million players.

EA’s thinking will be that is has established such a dominant position with its game – both in terms of technology and volume of repeat players and game buyers – that it is virtually unassailable. The current 10-year license ends with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year.

For its part FIFA said that the market for football games cannot be dominated by one company.

“The future of gaming and eSports for football stakeholders must involve more than one party controlling and exploiting all rights,” said FIFA.

The same could perhaps be said of FIFA’s attempts to conquer its own confederations and their competitions in the physical world with its own dominating and potentially revenue-sucking biennial world cups and expanded club world cups.

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