FIFA without FIFA? EA Sports weighs in on Showcase game reboot
The large number of other licenses that EA Sports hold in football means that even if it were forced to rename its FIFA series, players on a digital football diet would notice little change when it comes to the gaming experience. .
However, any rupture would have consequences. The FIFA franchise is hugely profitable, said Gareth Sutcliffe, senior video game analyst at Enders Analysis, as EA Sports are able to make little more than cosmetic changes to their game in most years and continue to do so. achieve millions of sales with the release. of each new edition.
The profitability of the game has increased thanks to innovations such as player packs, similar to collectible cards, which force users to spend money in the game as they seek to build the best rosters. Piers Harding-Rolls, gaming industry analyst at Ampere Analysis, estimated that the game’s feature known as Ultimate Team was worth up to $ 1.2 billion at EA last year.
It is this new economy that EA is turning to as part of its growth strategy. It’s also the kind of feature FIFA would prefer to isolate and perhaps sell as part of lucrative – and separate – deals.
For FIFA, a break with EA Sports and the loss of its nine-figure license payments could threaten some of the innovations proposed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. For example, he seeks to raise up to $ 2 billion to finance a new enlarged World Cup for clubs. At the same time, he is trying to persuade members to support his plan to increase the frequency of the World Cup every two years.
To find this new revenue, FIFA officials investigated the possibility of selling licenses for video games and digital products that are not related to football. Partnering with another company like Epic Games, the maker of the successful Fortnite franchise, for example, would expand FIFA’s reach but dilute the exclusivity that EA pays a premium for. This, according to former gaming industry insiders like Moore, could be the reason his old company is considering moving away.
“I’m going to say, ‘Wait a second: we literally spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build this and you’re telling me that Epic Games can come in and license the name that we built and that we put there. ‘front and center and who has become synonymous with games?’ Moore said. “So, yes, I negotiate and I fight against this.”