Electronic Arts has been making games based on the FIFA license since 1993—and they’re going to keep on making them for quite a while to come. Today, EA announced that the contract between the game publisher and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association has been extended through December 31, 2022.
Want to know what the parties involved had to say about the agreement? Here’s EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson:
“EA SPORTS released the first FIFA-branded soccer game in 1993, and 20 years later our partnership with FIFA continues to be very strong. Our franchise has become the benchmark for quality and innovation in the sports videogame genre, and we look forward to many more years of connecting with consumers around the world with our games carrying the prestigious FIFA name.”
Then there was this from FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke:
“Our relationship with EA SPORTS is of high importance to FIFA. The FIFA videogames are a key experiential component in our work to communicate the FIFA brand and its values all over the world. This is highlighted by the 2.5 million football fans that have competed in this year’s FIFA Interactive World Cup, which is just one example of the power of our partnership with EA.”
So there you go: more EA-made FIFA games. That’s good, right? FIFA fans are generally happy with the job EA’s done…right? Last year I wrote about the history of EA Sports for All Your History, and covered FIFA briefly in episode 3. When the series was finished, one of the biggest complaints we got in the comments on YouTube was the lack of extensive FIFA coverage. If I haven’t explained why we didn’t go into more depth with FIFA, allow me to do so now: those games exist, and people like them. The end.
My understanding is that the games have come out and sold very well, and that, really, there isn’t much conflict there. That means that the other properties from EA Sports got more attention, because there’s been lots more drama in those areas. So now’s your chance to correct me, FIFA fans: is this contract extension a good thing, or a bad one? Are you pleased with the job EA’s been doing with the license since 1993? Or is this yet another example of EA’s taking advantage of its stranglehold on the sports market and turning out subpar games? Lay it on us, soccer (I mean “futbol”) fans.