What’s next for EA with the departure of the FIFA license?

MultiVersus is an exciting idea from Warner Bros. Interactive, a free-to-play platform fighting game (think Nintendo’s Smash Bros., but with characters like Bugs Bunny, Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and Batman). It goes into closed alpha testing from May 19-27, and Warner Bros. is also hosting a 2v2 at the Evo event from August 5-7.

Fighting games produced some of the earliest esports, but aside from Evo, they don’t get much attention. Nintendo’s bad attitude towards Smash Bros. competitive doesn’t help. But if a free-to-play fighting game with the backing of a high-end publisher like Warner Bros. takes off, we could see not only a great new fighting game in future iterations of Evo and other events, but also a new ecosystem for sponsors and other partners. -Jason Wilson

Electronic Arts has been the center of attention this week in the games arena. The studio has announced that its FIFA contract, one of EA’s oldest partnerships, will end after July 2023. Since its launch in 1993, the FIFA series has become the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world, with more than 325 million copies. sold from 2021.

While EA will continue its football franchise under the EA Sports FC brand, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has shared the governing body intends to compete with EA. “I can assure you that the only real authentic game bearing the FIFA name will be the best available to gamers and football fans,” Infantino said this week. FIFA is in talks with various game publishers, media companies and investors regarding the development of a new game which is expected to roll out in 2024.

But it wasn’t all bad news for EA. Although the publisher was unable to obtain a license renewal from FIFA, its revenue for the financial year showed the company made a profit of $789 million, with $7.52 billion in net bookings annuals. The FIFA franchise was a major contributor, as the 12-month period ending March 31 was the largest ever for FIFA games, with over 150 million unique accounts and FIFA 22 having the best launch in franchise history.

In total, EA games exceeded a player network of more than 580 million unique active accounts and grew 16% year-on-year thanks to acquisitions, including UK developer Codemasters and its gaming series. F1 motorsport, Project CARS and Grid.

Apex Legends has also been a strong contributor to the developer’s success, with net bookings increasing by more than 40% year over year. Additionally, the popular esports title is coming to Android and iOS devices on May 17. EA’s efforts to consolidate its mobile segment were highlighted by crossing the $1 billion milestone in mobile net bookings with nearly $1.2 billion, the fastest growing net bookings segment for EA. . at an annual growth rate of 34%.

Learn more about SBJ Esports. — Tobias Seck

FIFA will end its licensing agreement with Electronic Arts in July 2023

Amazon Prime Gaming wants to compete on the ground floor of the Splitgate Pro Series and will be the title sponsor of the new esports competition which kicks off next month. The competition is built around developer 1047 Games’ first-person shooter title. Prime Gaming’s new deal is an extension of a partnership that began months ago, where Prime Gaming sponsored loot within Splitgate.

“1047 Games and Amazon Prime Gaming have had tremendous success offering Prime Gaming loot to Prime Gaming members over the past several months,” said Zac Thomas, Director of Partnerships and Business Development at 1047 Games. “Expanding the relationship to include esports legitimizes the scene for gamers and viewers and allows Splitgate to continue to provide exclusive content to Prime Gaming members while simultaneously elevating its esports scene.”

Logitech G Esports Services will operate the series for 1047, with the brand also sponsoring the esports series through integrations and activations. Astro Gaming is also a sponsor.

Thomas said a “major selling point” in recruiting established esports organizations like T1 and Luminosity — two of eight Season 1 teams — is helping 1047 build and shape the future of Splitgate esports. — Jason Wilson

Prime Gaming first teamed up with Splitgate for in-game loot

Esports has been a point of focus within Morgan Stanley’s Global Sports & Entertainment (GSE) division for some time, but now the wealth management firm is taking things a step further with its inaugural Esports Business Symposium in conjunction with the ‘Esports Trade Association.

“We thought this was the perfect collaboration to achieve this together,” said Morgan Stanley’s Sandra Richards, who heads the GSE division. “As the esports business continues to grow and prosper, providing financial education and advice, along with other industry expertise and perspectives, is essential to better prepare and equip a wider audience. within the esports community to excel.”

Morgan Stanley believes there is an “incredible opportunity” in esports. “Esports is a pathway to greater personal opportunity and outcomes,” Richards said, “whether through securing college scholarships, winning major awards, or expanding personal networks and exposure through competition and learning. engagement. It’s great to see how the growth has positively impacted those involved.”

The symposium will also look at Web3 and the Metaverse, which have natural ties to esports and gaming. “Our goal is to address key fundamentals, issues, trends and opportunities in the broader landscape of the digital ecosystem related to esports, gaming and other environments,” Richards said.

Among the speakers expected next week for the virtual event are Jenna Johnson of Minnesota Røkkr (Call of Duty League), John Davidson of Esports Trade Association, Rob Johnson of CSL Esports, Chris Le of Nike and Randi Zuckerberg of Zuckerberg Media. — Jason Wilson

  • Twitch streamer, esports competitor and content creator Kris Lamberson (aka FaZe Swagg) has “jointly signed with UTA and Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group”. notes The Hollywood Reporter. Lamberson is “known for his Call of Duty and Warzone player tutorials and highlights on Twitch and YouTube, where he has over 4 million subscribers combined”. He joined FaZe Clan in 2020, and along with five other members, Lamberson appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated last June, “marking the first time a gaming organization has done so.”
  • French company Team Vitality has reached an agreement with Samsung to become the official TV partner of the esports team. While Team Vitality is best known for its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends teams, the partnership only covers its Rocket League, FIFA and Fortnite teams, as these games are available for console, which are traditionally used with a TV. .
  • CAA Sports will now represent esports organization T1 Entertainment & Sports as an exclusive agency for sponsorship and endorsements, Murray reports. The new deal also grants CAA individual rights to League of Legends star Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, arguably the most popular esports figure in the world.
  • Engagement platform Rival will work with NBA 2K League to host global amateur qualifying tournaments for the Coinbase NBA 2KL 3v3 Blacktop Series, notes SBJ’s Jason Wilson.
  • LIV Golf has unveiled the first details of fan activities taking place June 9-11 at the Centurion Club in London, site of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament, and a Metaverse tent will feature esports exhibits.
  • Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports has added its first content creator: F1 Elly, an F1 and sim racing influencer.
  • The annual Tampa Pro Skateboarding event last weekend hosted the first Skater XL Tampa Pro Live Esports contest, which took place on the official Tampa Skate Park map inside the game. It pitted 24 of the best Skate XL players (eight competitors each on PC, PlayStation and Xbox).
  • The NHL Gaming Championship is adding Carrlyn Bathe to its list of announcers for the esports competition this season. Bathe covers the NHL Kings for Bally Sports West RSN. She became the first female voice cast in EA’s franchise when she appeared in the NHL 2021 video game.

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