There will not be a 30th-anniversary celebration for EA Sports and FIFA. Electronic Arts officially pulled the plug on its 29-year partnership with FIFA.
The announcement came on May 10th following months of tense negotiations that eventually amounted to nothing. FIFA officials demanded $1 billion for its licensing rights from the company, which was a total non-starter according to sources close to the deal. FIFA also wanted the ability to attach its brand to other video games, which sources say proved to be a bridge too far for EA.
The next installment in the $20 billion series will be called EA Sports FC. This game is expected to look and feel very similar to all the prior games since it will still have the most famous soccer clubs and stars in the world thanks to separate licensing agreements with teams and leagues. However, major FIFA events, like the World Cup, will not be included in the game.
“It was really about how can we do more for the players, more for the fans, how can we offer them more modalities to play, how can we bring more partners into the game and how can we expand beyond the bounds,” said EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson.
Following this announcement, shares of EA fell nearly 3% in afternoon trading. As of this writing, one share in the company is valued at $129.65.