PlayStation Passed on the Opportunity to Steal FIFA From EA

A former Electronic Arts (EA) executive has revealed that PlayStation was once offered the opportunity to snag the FIFA license but declined. The exchange between Sony and FIFA took place in 1997, following which EA went on to make one of the best-selling video game franchises in history.

What happened between EA, FIFA, and PlayStation?

Tom Stone — EA’s vice president of European marketing in the late 90s — told TimeExtension that the company responsible for licensing FIFA (ISL) reached out to PlayStation’s European leadership behind EA’s back. Chris Deering was serving as PlayStation’s European president at the time, and decided to tell Stone about the offer.

“‘We’ve been offered the rights to FIFA Soccer,’” Stone recalled Deering telling him. “I said, ‘You have got to be effing joking. Seriously? ISL has approached you and asked if you would like an exclusive worldwide license for FIFA? After everything we’ve done for them?’” Deering then reassured Stone that he won’t be signing any deal unless talks between EA and ISL fell through.

EA exclusively held the FIFA license for 25 years until 2022, when the companies split. EA will continue to make soccer games under the EA Sports FC label. Who will get the FIFA license is not known at present.

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