EA Sports has signed soccer clubs A.C. Milan and Inter Milan to an exclusive multiyear deal that’ll bring two of the sport’s most celebrated clubs to the game maker ahead of this fall’s release of FIFA ’21.
EA Sports and rival Konami have previously sparred over the rights to different details of various soccer clubs for inclusion in their games. Unique elements like stadiums, uniforms and leagues have been in one game or the other. For example, last Konami gained exclusive rights Juventus F.C., the home club of Cristiano Ronaldo, preventing the team from appearing in the EA game.
Though EA’s FIFA was able to have the Juventus’s players included, the team was referred to as Piemonte Calcio- a reference to Juventus’ home region meaning ‘Piemonte football’- the uniforms were changed and the stadium carried an alternate name.
FIFA has dominated on the sales front, particularly in comparison to Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer. Even with their numbers declining over the past four years, FIFA 19 outsold Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 by a margin of 22:1.
EA has also held the upper hand in the licensing battle. FIFA’s exclusive clubs include Liverpool F.C., PSG F.C., Manchester City F.C. and five other clubs that are only in FIFA 20. EA’s addition of both teams from Milan will give the game maker 10 exclusive clubs for the upcoming edition.
“Continuing to elevate strategic club partnerships in Italy is crucial to our vision to grow the love of sport, and in this case, global football worldwide through authentic interactive experiences,” said Nick Wlodyka, Vice President & GM, EA SPORTS FIFA. “We look forward to offering fans an innovative and interactive FIFA experience for years to come.”
Now, Konami will likely have to rename A.C. Milan and Inter Milan similar to the way EA must work around Juventus.
FIFA 21 is set to release on October 21.