License to bring in UK teams for six-year period
As Electronic Arts prepare for a life without the official FIFA branding, the publisher is reportedly already taking steps to ensure the future of its hugely lucrative footballing franchise, reaching out to the UK Premier League in order to secure licensing for its teams and players.
According to a report from Sky Sports, EA is in the process of negotiating with the Premier League to come to terms on a partnership for the upcoming EA Sports FC series — essentially the “FIFA” series sans official endorsement from the FIFA organization itself, which officially parted ways with Electronic Arts with the publishing of recent release FIFA 23, bringing an end to an almost 30-year partnership.
The EA x Premier League deal is, according to Sky Sports’ sources, in its closing stages, and is said to have a worth of around £488 million (roughly $588 million USD). This figure, if correct, is believed to be around double the value of the previous deal between the two participants. The new contract will reportedly last for six years and will see EA retain its role as the lead partner of the Premier League, while also retaining its licensing for the use of 20 UK teams and their corresponding players.
As for FIFA itself, the group has previously suggested that it intends to launch its own football game franchise, and is currently seeking a developer for this as-yet-untitled new series. Ultimately, the long-running and incredibly popular “FIFA” experience lies with the talent of EA Sports, and while the transition period for EA Sports FC will be a little clunky, EA is expected to go above and beyond to ensure that its annual football releases remain a hugely lucrative part of its portfolio.