EA Sports FC likely to replace ‘FIFA’ name

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Electronic Arts doesn’t want to pay a premium to FIFA, the organization behind soccer, for the name of its soccer game. The FIFA games are some of the most popular in the world, but EA doesn’t think maintaining the name is worth the $1 billion that FIFA wants for it. That is where the trademark for EA Sports FC (Football Club) comes in. The publisher trademarked that name late last year, and sources indicate to GamesBeat that is indeed the name EA is going with.

FIFA sees the success of EA’s game and wants a bigger piece of that massive pie. But EA, naturally, doesn’t want to dig into its profit margin any more than it already has. A big, global soccer video game is already a behemoth in terms of licensing fees and all the negotiation and legal work that goes along with that. And that is the larger point — EA is responsible for that work. FIFA does not come bundled with official team branding or real-world player names. The publisher manages that separately and at a cost to itself.

So FIFA just wants money for the FIFA name, and instead, EA is preparing to move on permanently from the partnership.

With EA Sports FC, the company can control its own destiny. And it will also separate its game from the corruption that FIFA is now most associated with.

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Last week, FIFA updated its trademark in Europe. The company specifically mentions video game products in its filing. The group may end up responding with a new FIFA game that doesn’t come from EA.

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Jeff Grubb

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