FIFA Name 'Four Letters on the Front of the Box', Licence May Be an Impediment, EA Boss Reportedly States

FIFA Name 'Four Letters on the Front of the Box', Licence May Be an Impediment, EA Boss Reportedly States

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Richard Walker

With reports swirling in October that EA could be looking to drop the FIFA name and licence, EA CEO Andrew Wilson has reportedly communicated with employees about potentially removing the FIFA title from its long-running football series.

Despite the name being synonymous with EA's football franchise since the release of FIFA International Soccer in 1993, the series could move forward without the FIFA label, according to comments reportedly made during an internal meeting at EA, obtained by an anonymous source provided to VGC.

“I'm going to be more open… more open than I’ve been with the outside world. We’ve had a great relationship with FIFA over the past 30-odd years,” Wilson apparently commented to EA employees. “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. We’ve worked really hard to try and make FIFA understand what we need for the future.”

Wilson adds that the FIFA license provides far less in terms of value than it once did, and has proved more an impediment than an advantage in recent years. “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,” he allegedly said.

“”Again, FIFA is just the name on the box, but they’ve precluded our ability to be able to branch into the areas that players want," he added. “Our players are telling us they want us to move really quick: ‘we want you guys doing stuff fast’. And in order to do that, we need a level of freedom to be truly creative, innovative and experiment in the marketplace. 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."

Wilson has seemingly relayed these concerns to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, amid reports that FIFA wanted more money for licensing, and a statement from the body that it no longer wanted EA to hold exclusive rights. “But it's not about that, it's really about our ability to deliver games and experiences that our fans want, in a timely fashion,” Wilson said in response to the notion that the cost of the FIFA licence is a factor.

This year's game will still be called FIFA 23, but as for future instalments in the series, things aren't quite so certain. “We’re going to work through this, we’re going to be thoughtful and we want to be good partners with FIFA, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we ultimately move in a different direction,” Wilson commented. “At the end of the day, I think that might even be better for our gamers than continuing with those four letters on the box.”

EA has declined to comment to VGC on the report and statements made by Wilson.

Comments
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  • lol, “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." delusional utterly delusional
  • “Our players want things quicker”. I hope by that it won’t become even more like an arcade game where every player has 99 pace.
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