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Sony May Have Acquired FIFA License in the 90s But Declined

The FIFA franchise eventually changed its name to EA Sports FC after the developer lost the license, as many may already know. However, what not everyone imagines is that Sony had the chance to acquire the FIFA license, back in the 90s to release its own games.

At least, that’s what Tom Stone, former Vice President of Marketing at EA, claims in an interview with the Time Extension portal. According to him, ISL (the licensing authority at the time) contacted the PlayStation of Europe without the company’s knowledge and offered the rights. Stone recounts that:

“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 must be joking. Seriously? ISL reached out to you and asked if you’d like to have an exclusive worldwide license for FIFA? After everything we’ve done for them?’ I was very angry.”

Tom Stone further added,

“But Chris told me, ‘I won’t sign this deal unless you can’t reach an agreement with FIFA. That’s your deal. You created it.’ Obviously, Chris was giving an overview of the support EA provided to PlayStation worldwide. I think it would have been an interesting conversation if Sony had signed that deal. I believe EA would have reacted very negatively to it.”

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Sony: Adidas Power Soccer

This situation specifically occurred in 1997, and EA was already working on the FIFA series before that. Therefore, one can imagine the confusion it would have caused if Sony had accepted this ‘opportunity’. Additionally, the Japanese company already had its own soccer game, Adidas Power Soccer.

Sony Adidas Power Soccer - Fifa License 90s

Regardless, it’s interesting to imagine what would have happened. Meanwhile, EA Sports FC is already available for today’s major platforms, and its recent sales figures in the UK have been revealed.

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