EA Sports signs Juventus in multi-year deal as FIFA franchise draws to a close

July 25 – Juventus is returning to EA Sports’ FIFA games for the FIFA 23 edition, leaving rival Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer video game where the club has been exclusive for the past three years.

The multi-year deal will start with FIFA 23, which launches on September 30, but will continue post FIFA once EA Sports’ licensing deal of the FIFA brand ends. EA’s renamed game will be called EA Sports FC.

EA Sports becomes Juventus’ exclusive Sport Video Gaming Partner, with an in-game integration that will feature Juventus’ Allianz Stadium, as well as the club’s logo and kits.

The partners also announced they would work together outside the game on “a number of lifestyle and cultural initiatives bringing new opportunities outside of football”.

“We’re excited to reaffirm our deep commitment to Italian football through this exclusive partnership with Juventus,” said David Jackson, VP of brand for EA Sports FIFA.

“This phenomenal club means so much to us and our fans and will enable EA SPORTS to continue to deliver the most authentic and comprehensive interactive football experiences possible in FIFA 23 and beyond.”

EA Sports has 300 individual licensed partners, giving video gamers access to more than 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world. FIFA 23 provides a video gaming environment for UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Europa Conference League, Premier League, Bundesliga, LaLiga Santander, Conmebol Libertadores, and Conmebol Sudamericana.

Giorgio Ricci, Juventus Chief Revenue Officer. “The partnership with EA Sports goes beyond the concept of traditional partnership, together in the shared project of looking into the future, talking to new generations, riding the wave of new trends, urban culture and lifestyle. We chose EA Sports to go one step further because it is a partner sharing our vision and ambition. We are pleased to make this journey with a brand standing out for its originality, uniqueness, and innovation, as Juventus does.”

Ricci’s comments reflect the dominating power EA Sports has in the football video gaming market and its overall consumer reach. Following the fall out with FIFA over the failure to agree new licensing terms, FIFA said it would work with other developers on licensed games moving forward.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global, original title… the constant is the FIFA name, and it will remain forever and remain the best.”

EA Sports would point out very quickly that FIFA did not build or invest in the title, it did, and paid FIFA handsomely for use of its brand logo and name. Now FIFA says it is going to build its own game titles.

But realistically, despite Infantino’s world conquering comments, FIFA doesn’t have the biggest boots in this game and isn’t likely to have the money to buy them.

In 2021, EA Sports reported net revenue of $5.6 billion. FIFA’s revenue for the same period was $776.5 million. So not only is FIFA a financially smaller organisation that EA Sports, but it also has to spend its money on a wide range of football activity – video gaming probably shouldn’t count in that regard. In contrast, EA Sports is only interested in video gaming and has a lot more money to invest in doing so. And has the data and custom of 30 years of operating the FIFA franchise.

FIFA’s fall out with EA Sports is increasingly looking like a colossal piece of bad business for the world governing body.

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