EA losing rights to FIFA name in 2023

FAST6191

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Alternative tagline. EA sports, it's not the home of the beautiful game.

I have not cared about playing a simulation football game since Sensible Soccer on the Amiga (my friends did not invite me to play the PS1/PS2 efforts because I would figure out the hack button, as in injure players tackle rather than hack as we might know it around here, and use that constantly) and care even less about the sport itself but this is big news for both money and fate of a major game industry player -- annual sales are hard to gauge, even more so with mobile and them being the main example of loot crates these days, but the ending is being cast as a disagreement over price (EA apparently pays them 150 million USD per year, FIFA seeking to double that, so bound to be several times that which they get from it). No word if this is actually any kind of play from FIFA after EA controversies with loot crates, requirements from FIFA becoming untenable for EA (the agreement on what is acceptable/required/expected is likely to be hundreds of pages long), or just general money concerns but some comments back in February might hold some clue https://www.theverge.com/2022/2/24/22948808/ea-ceo-fifa-branding-andrew-wilson-comments .
Do also note EA did also notably lose Star Wars exclusivity (not rights in general, just exclusivity) and that is set to end in 2023 as well. Coincidence, Disney, or greater strategy shift within EA is unknown.

Anyway FIFA, the governing body of much of football (soccer for the Americans) and certainly most of what anybody would recognise, appears to have withdrawn the rights to their name from EA, who held the contract for over two decades. This does not include rights to the code or anything like that, just names, faces, likenesses, league names, possibly stadia, maybe commentators, sponsors... and as it stands they already have generic takes on things for those teams not bound up by FIFA and also not selling their rights.

Some sources.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/61406218
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/10/sports/soccer/fifa-ea-sports.html
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fifa-soccer-video-game-ea-sports-license/

No word as yet who might step up. There did used to be very strong competition from Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer (shortened to PES or Pro Evo, Winning Eleven in Japan) but they dropped that name this year, now known as eFootball, went awful freemium model and by all accounts have taken what was already a limping franchise and shot themselves in both knees. Not to mention Konami is probably not in position to really be dropping 300 million USD right now. How much the rights are worth to the game as a whole is unknown -- one of the major differences between PES and FIFA in days of old was the names you got access to and apparently they are quite desirable (alien concept to me really for anything but there is a reason EA is dealing in multi hundred million contracts and I am not). MS still has a bit in their war chest even after Activision, Sony would be a possibility (they have to know it is usually the last game on any of their systems), Embracer group maybe on the outside with some financing (they might also own some rights to the Championship Manager series following their purchase of several of Square Enix's western divisions https://gbatemp.net/threads/square-...ips-to-embracer-group-for-300-million.611677/ as it once was an Eidos property but don't quote me on that one, not to mention that is a management game rather than a simulation game even if lines got blurred towards the end). With some minor exceptions on mobile, and Inazuma Eleven which is a RPG, it has also been more than 20 years (way too long to have any useful code) since any non PES non FIFA simulation games (or even arcade takes) have made anything like a dent as far as I am aware, which also reduces the options for someone to buy a dev and buy the rights before combining the two and nobody involved, including FIFA themselves, is likely to take a 300 million hit for a year or three* to build an engine. Sega, once one of the other major competitors here, did do it as a mode in their Olympics game the other year ( Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - The Official Video Game) but I am assuming as a token search does not yield much on the quality of the matter then it too did nothing spectacular. Nintendo's Mario Strikers is probably way too far down the path of arcade to be worth considering in that whole thing.

*while EA sports annual releases wherein the names are changed and not much else would have FIFA as a poster child for the concept it does still represent a lot of work to catch up on.

No particular word from EA as to where they might go either, and while FIFA control a lot of rights there are still large teams outside their remit. I am sure some would be hoping for something like a return to FIFA street, though presumably going by another name, if nothing else.
 

Dark_Phoras

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I wouldn't be surprised if Xbox gets something here... Xbox (not Microsoft) has signed partnerships with two of the biggest football associations in the world in the past year (England and France).
 

FAST6191

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We're gonna have to go Medchester Reds and Luverpill again :rofl:

Bring back sensible soccer! They were the days!
Just in case you were unaware https://sociablesoccer.com/
Made by Jon Hare as one of spiritual sequel things. New version out this year (q2 so I guess any moment now).
Did also see the 2006 PC version of Sensible Soccer in a box of games today when at a car boot sale. Was almost tempted but it really was the Amiga when that was still kind of current that I played it on last and as noted above I really don't care about football.
I am not into sports games but good! I hope whatever company picks them up treats them with more respect.
You are aware that FIFA probably has a longer list of controversies than if every rumour in the games industry (including the Japanese stuff https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2...ister_to_stop_them_from_working_with_nintendo ) was twice as bad as claimed. For as scummy as EA are then them going up against FIFA is like a toddler fighting a MMA champion.
Old article but a start https://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournam...rk-side-of-fifa-controversies-and-the-future/
 
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Wow. This is big news. Used to work there and at the time FIFA was the flagship…25% of profits. I can’t see a situation where they don’t return to the negotiating table and figure out how to come up with the 300Ms.
 

The Catboy

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You are aware that FIFA probably has a longer list of controversies than if every rumour in the games industry (including the Japanese stuff
I am aware but not sure what that has to do with my comment.
I don’t like the quality of games EA has been publishing or really sports games in general. So many have just become unplayable messes that require additional spending to be remotely playable. I really hope we see something different in the future.
 

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Was Championship Manager the one that had a version of Kick Off 2 built in so you could play the matches, also on the Amiga, or was that a different manager game?
SWOS was the greatest, obv. Haven't played football games in years (last one I remember enjoying with friends was the Sega one on Saturn), but might check Sociable Soccer out of nostalgic curiosity when it comes to Switch.
 
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FAST6191

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Wow. This is big news. Used to work there and at the time FIFA was the flagship…25% of profits. I can’t see a situation where they don’t return to the negotiating table and figure out how to come up with the 300Ms.
If they do go it alone this is bound to end up as one of the all time great marketing case studies -- how much are (accurate) names and colours worth to people? At this point I am not sure I have anything like a comparison* give or take maybe those times films do or don't associate themselves with a popular franchise or make associations they would have had say back in comics where crossovers and greater universes are standard. That is also films and nothing really like this. About all I have is that people seem to buy it year on year (see any charity shop, yard sale, car boot sale or the like) and very rarely do you get substantial changes, never mind improvements.
That said I could see 300 million USD be a number greater than it, at least for a year or two (not much scope for DLC** when you have generics unless it is like car games where you buy a model/team, and you probably will see people stick with the old if it is a press compile again and make new boxart job the year after).

I would also have to know what FIFA controls for this (I imagine they have a lot of exclusive rights to sublicense things) and I am not that invested. I also don't know what they have for vintage rights -- what little we see dribble out (hah) elsewhere in football games does tend to be more vintage which I am guessing is for a reason.

*the concept has been known since ancient times
http://vroma.org/vromans/hwalker/Pliny/Pliny09-06-E.html
Pliny the younger said:
I HAVE spent these several days past among my papers with the most pleasing tranquillity imaginable. You will ask how that can possibly be in the midst of Rome? Why, the Circensian Games were taking place; a kind of entertainment for which I have not the least taste. They have no novelty, no variety, nothing, in short, one would wish to see twice. I am the more astonished that so many thousands of grown men should be possessed again and again with a childish passion to look at galloping horses, and men standing upright in their chariots. If, indeed, they were attracted by the swiftness of the horses or the skill of the men, one could account for this enthusiasm. But in fact it is a bit of cloth they favour, a bit of cloth that captivates them. And if during the running the racers were to exchange colours, their partisans would change sides, and instantly forsake the very drivers and horses whom they were just before recognizing from afar, and clamorously saluting by name.

**I say having seen EA sell local multiplayer that was present in the earlier games and unlock cheats as paid DLC as far back as the 360.
 

Lostbhoy

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Before Sensi the cool kids were playing Kick Off 2.. I didn't care for it though.

As much as I loathe EA's practices I think FIFA are being right twats demanding double the fee.
Aw wow! I remember Kick off 1 and 2 for my C64! Sure i also had Kevin Keegans football manager too!
 

FAST6191

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One thing that might be a possibility here.

For years custom cars in games were nothing too drastic. Today with the likes of BeamNG we are seeing detail level simulations be able to recreate what normally only several million of your money and possibly a rider like no damage to be shown, also means you are not going to be able to sell the game new after a few years, could have done. Management efforts have already been massively entrenched in football games (for those otherwise being outside observers then football management simulations were up there as well, to the point where the real life managers were occasionally noted as using them to find out about up and coming players, though they have also had a bit of a wobble in more recent years).

Could totally not EA inc/"Electronic Arts... never heard of 'em we are Mechanical Utilitarians" join up with some kind of input stats (which might even be free reign) and recreate "missing" items? We have had take your own picture and overlay it since... I know it was on the PS3 but I think I saw something for the eyetoy on PS2 and a scan says was option there for various games. I also struggle to believe that the stats updates (which can even be made to follow real life leagues at times in some of these games) do not not have very nice tools already made even if we don't follow along with the joke of annual releases = stats update.

I am sure the resulting lawsuit would make Epic vs Apple look like a school yard shoving match (join me for some popcorn in that case) but that might even be one of those "whoever wins, we win" scenarios.
 

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Maymay
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Was Championship Manager the one that had a version of Kick Off 2 built in so you could play the matches, also on the Amiga, or was that a different manager game?
SWOS was the greatest, obv. Haven't played football games in years (last one I remember enjoying with friends was the Sega one on Saturn), but might check Sociable Soccer out of nostalgic curiosity when it comes to Switch.

Championship Manager was a different manager game... now it has the name "Football Manager" by Sports Interactive.
 
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Dark_Phoras

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I remember reading some time ago that a reason why EA and FIFA went their separate ways was because they couldn't reach an agreement on the profit or revenue share coming from the Ultimate Team mode. Last year, the mode generated 1.56 billion euros in revenue, and it's just an extra mode in the game.
 

UltraDolphinRevolution

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I like soccer games but I honestly don´t care about authentic names (or even stats; why not make all teams equal within certain levels: e.g. Brazil as good as Spain).
PES had an amazing fan community who made huge patches.

Soccer fans are worse than hardcore Nintendo fans. They´d buy a sweaty T-shirt for a fortune and scream at every goal as if the Islamic paradise was real.
 
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Morgz started his YouTube career as an awkward fat kid opening FIFA loot boxes in his videos, now he's a YouTube millionaire performing shouting skits with his mum. If whoever gets FIFA next removes paid loot boxes it could change YouTube for the better.
 
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