What's Next for FIFA?

There's trouble in paradise in the nearly 30 year exclusive partnership between FIFA – the international governing body of soccer – and Electronics Arts, or EA.

The FIFA franchise accounts for roughly 30% of EA's revenue, much of that coming from it's highly touted Ultimate Team mode. Nevertheless, the longtime partners are at an impasse on contract negotiations, as FIFA has requested that EA double the current licensing fee of $150 million per year to $1 billion every four years.

This comes as FIFA seeks, more generally, to extend soccer gaming options for its fans. The organization's website reports that "FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and e-sports for football, soccer, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all the rights."

FIFA believes that more competition in the space will lead to higher quality gameplay, and ultimately more engagement from its fans. So for EA to remain the only game in town, so to speak, it's going to have to pony up.

Now, this split is far from a done deal, and the two sides could certainly still come to an arrangement.

But the alternatives are intriguing.

One could certainly imagine competition driving enhanced gameplay and graphics, more mode options, and better co-play. But at the same time, a status quo like that between NBA 2K and NBA Live could emerge, wherein there's a clear gamer's favorite, and a clear secondary option that one only has if their aunt got confused at GameStop while Christmas shopping...

Additionally, it's entirely feasible that, seeing the direction that gaming is going, FIFA might seek to partner with an Activision, for instance, which has a long history in esports, to perhaps try and bring professional and competitive FIFA to the level of Overwatch, DOTA, or League of Legends.

Whatever the direction this goes, we'll have you covered so check back in on the blog for more gaming news.

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