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EA Sports “close” to Premier League license deal

Gearing up for EA Sports FC
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EA Sports reportedly is “close” to signing a new license agreement with the English Premier League, one of the world’s competitively and commercially most successful soccer leagues. Sky Sports News claims a deal worth about £488 million – that’s around $587.5 million – with a duration of six years is almost in the bag. It’s said that this is almost double the amount of money involved in the current cooperation between both sides.

This partnership would enable EA Sports to continue using licensed Premier League material in its video games exclusively, barring both its current competitor eFootball as well as upcoming free-to-play titles like Goals and a potential soccer sim by the sport’s governing body FIFA from having the English league in their games.

A soccer player in FIFA 23.

Manchester City player Erling Haaland, one of Premier League's newest stars.

EA Sports and FIFA have announced the end to their three decades-long partnership in 2022, with FIFA 23 being the last EA Sports title to use that name for now. The publisher and developer has already announced that its upcoming annual soccer sims will be called EA Sports FC.

While EA and FIFA upheld their partnership for 30 years, creating one of the most valuable game franchises in history, internal disputes about financial and creative matters led them to terminate their cooperation. Reportedly, FIFA wanted $1 billion from EA for continuing their agreement.

Leaked internal discussions revealed that the company considered this to be unacceptable on top of being restricted creatively, with a leading figure at EA being quoted as saying that all FIFA provided was “four letters on a box” in an age where less and less people actually see the box due to falling physical sales in favor of digital transactions.

It’s widely believed that FIFA is looking to create its own soccer sim or sell its license to another studio to use, capitalizing on its iconic name to become a big player almost immediately.

Most of the relevant and important licenses for leagues, teams, and players are actually held by EA in separate agreements like the one now seemingly being extended with Premier League, however. This means that it’s unlikely that anything substantial will change for players of EA’s game series aside from having to get used to a new name.