Programming and gameplay be damned, sports activities video games stay and die on their licensing. It’s why Madden was in a position to crush NFL2K, and it’s why EA’s FIFA (now generally known as EA Sports activities FC) has been in a position to grind Konami’s PES into the mud. Not as a result of they’re higher video games, however as a result of they paid to be the one video games to characteristic the precise groups you need to see enjoying within the leagues you need to see them enjoying in.
It ought to shock no one, then, that the sums of cash concerned in securing these rights are approaching astronomical ranges. And whereas we’re not typically aware about the precise figures concerned—online game publishers are nothing if not secretive—a leak from the sporting facet of issues has given us an perception into simply how a lot EA is paying for a few of its soccer rights, and [whistles].
Sky stories that “20 Premier League golf equipment have been briefed at a gathering on Friday a brand new six-year partnership with EA Sports activities value about £488m is near being finalised”. If finalised below these phrases, that works out to be round USD$588 million. So what would EA be getting for that expenditure? Right here’s how the writer describes it on FIFA 23’s web site:
EA SPORTS FIFA 23 is the one place the place you’ll be able to expertise the competitors, vitality and pleasure of the world’s hottest league. Play with all 20 Premier League golf equipment, full with their 2022/23 kits and logos and an genuine broadcast, commentary, and pre-match choreography package deal making it essentially the most genuine illustration of the league; unique to FIFA 23 gamers.
As Sky additionally report, it’s estimated to be “value greater than double the present deal involving the 2 events”. That may be a lot of cash, particularly when you think about it’s simply one of many dozens of licensing offers EA must signal for the sequence. So it must be famous that the $588 mil isn’t simply for the rights to the Premier League; it’s additionally so EA can proceed as one of many competitors’s major “companions”, a sponsorship association that has seen EA Sports activities branding seem all over the place from referee uniforms to the Premier League’s Participant of the Month award.
Should you’re questioning how the hell EA can afford these sorts of sums, notice that the final time the writer launched monetary outcomes for its Final Group digital card gross sales—which exist in Madden as properly however that are dominated globally by FIFA followers—they’d made $1.6 billion.