FIFA 22 could be the final installment in the series, with football executives demanding a $2 billion premium for the rights to the name.
As license renewal talks between FIFA and EA heat up, FIFA 22 could herald the end of an era.
Last week, EA revealed that it is “considering” rebranding the FIFA franchise.
The news came as the publisher’s 10-year licensing agreement came to an end.
It’s set to expire after the World Cup in Qatar next year, and FIFA is reportedly raising the price.
Negotiations have been ongoing for the past two years, according to the New York Times.
However, insider sources claim that the business behemoths have reached a stalemate.
FIFA is apparently demanding double the original cost, which has resulted in a deadlock.
This translates to $1 billion per four-year World Cup cycle, according to TNYT’s sources.
If EA wants to keep the FIFA name on the box for another decade, it’ll cost them $2.5 billion.
Additional roadblocks are appearing in the form of exclusive rights to accompany the license.
FIFA appears to prefer that EA keep it limited to the video game, despite EA’s desire to “explore new initiatives within its FIFA video game ecosystem.”
Gaming tournaments, highlights or genuine football games, and digital items are all examples of this.
The problem is that EA has spent years building up the FIFA brand with its legendary football series.
Walking away is a possibility, but it’s not ideal because it leaves the door open for rivals with significant money to swoop in and cash in on EA’s heritage.
And, if it gives up its exclusivity attitude, why should it pay a premium for it?
Ex-EA executive Peter Moore told TNYT that the lack of a statement on the renewal talks sends “a little bit of a signal.”
As the site points out, the loss of EA’s licensing money could have an impact on FIFA’s future ambitions, such as a biannual World Cup.
Even if EA is willing to cooperate, the lack of exclusivity is a major concern.
However, with players like Epic Games on board, who have a lot of cash to throw around, both sides have a lot to think about.
Moore pondered on whether Epic Games would get involved and how the situation would play out.
“I’m going to say, ‘Wait a second: We’ve spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars constructing this, and you’re telling me that Epic Games can come in and obtain a license to the name that we’ve established and that has become synonymous with games?’
“Then, yes, I’m negotiating and fighting against that.”
FIFA… Breaking News from the Brinkwire