Sony turned down chance to own FIFA rights in the 1990s
Sony turned down the chance to own FIFA rights in the 1990s.
The football gaming series is exclusively distributed by Electronic Arts and now Tom Stone, EA’s Former VP of European marketing has revealed that the then President of Sony PlayStation Europe had mentioned to him that he had had an offer from FIFA.
He told timeextension: "Chris Deering [the president of Sony PlayStation Europe at the time] met with me and said, ‘We’ve been offered the rights to FIFA Soccer'. 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?’ I was really cross. But Chris said to me, ‘I will not sign that deal unless you can’t come to terms with FIFA. That’s your deal. You created that.' Obviously, Chris was looking 'big picture' at the support that EA gave to PlayStation worldwide. I think that would have been an interesting conversation had Sony signed that deal, though. I think EA would have responded quite badly to that."
Producer Marc Aubanel also explained that the company didn't want to take the "risk" of rebranding.
He said: "So we were in discussions about dropping them decades before EA finally dropped them. The only reason they didn’t was because marketing was petrified about losing that brand awareness. We’d built so much equity in that brand. We were tired of paying for it, but every time we had to renegotiate with FIFA, they just didn’t want to take that risk of having to rebrand it."