EA mulls ‘FIFA’ rebrand after steep $1 billion request from FIFA

EA’s FIFA video game series might be about to lose its long held naming rights from the international football federation – FIFA. The reason? Money.

Video game publishing giant EA has a well-earned reputation for wringing out every bit of loose change from their iconic series. However, in a move that sees a bit of a role reversal, EA has found themselves being squeezed for all their worth by the famously corrupt football federation: FIFA.

EA has held the exclusive rights to the FIFA brand name in the video game realm since 1993. This relationship has seen EA’s football simulator climb to the top of all football related games, with FIFA 21 selling over 31 million copies.

fifa 22
Image: FIFA 22 / EA

This brand recognition was an important factor in the publisher’s war of attrition with Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series, allowing EA the exclusive use of some of football’s most famous sporting competitions – such as the FIFA World Cup.

Despite this mutually beneficial situation it appears that the international governing body of football wants a larger slice of the financial pie. According to a report in The New York Times, FIFA has tried to negotiate a new four-year contract with EA that would see them receive $1 billion USD over the course of the deal. Which let’s be honest, is an awful lot of money for pimping out your naming rights.

It should also be noted that over the years EA have been making deals with other football organisations such as UEFA and FIFPRO, meaning that they have the rights to various European club competitions and professional players’ likenesses regardless of their deal with FIFA.

And with their main competition struggling to even create a football game that works, now might be the perfect time to go their own way.

The FIFA video game series has become a behemoth in its own right, and the idea that they need the support of an organisation that has become synonymous with corruption and human rights violations is hardly convincing. At the end of the day people want a football game, and to play as their favourite players and clubs. The name of the league or competition isn’t particularly important.

And that is precisely why EA seem to be putting off signing this new $1 billion dollar contract; and it’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if they never do again.