How EA CEO trashed their £120m-a-year gaming deal with FIFA | Daily Mail Online

REVEALED: How EA’s CEO trashed their £120m-a-year gaming deal with FIFA as only giving them ‘four letters on the box’ at internal staff meeting, claiming it had been ‘impeding’ them before dumping the naming rights

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson felt football’s governing body FIFA were holding back their ambitions for the iconic video game, it can be revealed.

It emerged on Tuesday that EA Sports have ended their 29-year relationship with FIFA after it was reported they wanted £1billion for licencing and naming rights from EA to continue with the world’s most popular football video game.

And a report from VideoGamesChronicle has emerged claiming that CEO Wilson dismissed the relevance of FIFA in a meeting with EA staff last November.

‘I’m going to be more open… more open than I’ve been with the outside world,’ Wilson is reported as saying. ‘We’ve had a great relationship with FIFA over the past 30-odd years. We’ve created billions in value… it’s just huge. We’ve created one of the biggest entertainment properties on the planet.

‘I would argue – and this may be a little biased – that the FIFA brand has more meaning as a video game than it does a governing body of soccer. We don’t take that for granted and we try not to be arrogant… basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people don’t even see the box anymore because they buy the game digitally.’

Wilson continued: ‘As we’ve looked to the future we want to grow the franchise, and ironically the FIFA licence has actually been an impediment to that.

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson delivered a withering assessment of his company’s partnership with FIFA during a meeting with staff, it has been reported 

The EA-FIFA partnership had spanned for 29 years but now appears to be at an end 

‘Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem more broadly… our fans are telling us they want us to go and participate in that space. Because of the nature of the approval timetables and the various things around our FIFA licence, that’s actually been really hard and we’re moving much slower than we want.’ 

The current partnership between EA and FIFA has been extended to cover next year’s women’s World Cup but this year’s FIFA 23 could be the last game of the franchise to be released.

The video game giant then plans to launch EA Sports FC in 2023, an interactive form of gaming in collaboration with more than 300 partners across the world of soccer.

The new game is expected to feel similar to the millions of FIFA video game players around the world, as many of the most famous clubs and stars will still be playable due to separate licensing agreements with their teams and leagues.

It will likely offer players the ability to watch real-life matches, experience Fortnite-like in-game events, and give users a broader range of branded in-game items, BBC reports.

But major FIFA events, like the World Cup, will not be included. 

The current agreement between EA and FIFA will expire following the Women’s World Cup next summer, after which EA will launch its EA Sports FC

Electronic Arts is now planning to launch EA Sports FC in 2023, an interactive form of gaming in collaboration with more than 300 global soccer partners

‘The world of football and the world of entertainment are changing, and they clash within our product,’ David Jackson, vice president of EA Sports, told BBC.

‘In the future our players will demand of us the ability to be more expansive in that offering. At the moment, we engage in play as a primary form of interactive experience. 

‘Soon, watching and creating content are going to be equally as important for fans.

‘Under the licensing conventions that we had agreed with FIFA10 years ago, there were some restrictions that weren’t going to allow us to be able to build those experiences for players.’

How EA CEO trashed their £120m-a-year gaming deal with FIFA

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