Iceland Not In FIFA 17 After Pay Dispute With EA

Iceland, whose fairy-tale trip to the business end of Euro 2016 was one of the tournament's highlights, should be in this year's edition of FIFA. But they're not, following a dispute with EA over how much Iceland's football association would be paid for the team's rights. Photo via Getty

While the tiny nation had never actually been in a FIFA game before, the team's explosion in popularity following their Euro exploits led EA Sports to enter negotiations with Knattspyrnusamband Íslands (KSI, or The Football Association of Iceland) for the side's rights.

The BBC reports, though, that EA's offer of $US15,000 ($19,749) (no, I did not leave any zeros off) was "below their expectations".

"I really feel if we are giving away rights, or offering rights, it has to be proper negotiations and fair fees," KSI president Geir Thorsteinsson told the BBC.

"I didn't feel that this was done in a fair and open manner."

Interestingly, EA announced on September 12 that Iceland's now-famous "Viking Clap" victory celebration would be in the game via a tweet. In the wake of this disagreement, that tweet has now been deleted.

Note that while some international teams are present in FIFA 17 without a national licence (meaning they appear without their official logo and team kit), Iceland are simply not in the game at all.

(If for whatever reason you're interested in sports rights vs video games, check out this dumbarse list of review restrictions accompanying PES 2016, as well as a comment below it about how EA has had to handle Madden athletes).

We contacted EA Sports for comment but had not heard back at time of writing.


    Always get a giggle out of Kotaku's translation of "ass" to......what we call it.

    Mind out the gutter.

    Anyway, EA is very much in the wrong here. The BBC report also mentions they've sought EA for a comment so hopefully it offers one up.

    Iceland's victory was great for sport. We should be falling over ourselves to lift their profile.

      While I tend to agree, the asking price does seem pretty low, and EA can definitely afford more, it would be interesting to hear what Iceland thinks is a reasonable price for the rights? I mean, they aren't by any stretch of the imagination a consistent football team (yes they did something amazing but...), and this would be their first regular FIFA game. If they keep doing amazing things, then sure they can command the big dollars, but I'm sure from EA's perspective they are a bit hesitant to spend big on a potential flash in the pan.

      I recall this coming up numerous times with the Netherlands, but they have every right to command big money since for the rights, since they are consistently a big team. Again, not saying I agree with EA, but Icelend could also be asking for some stupid amount of money that's not even worth it.

        If they have a hundred teams in the game and each is offered $15k, that's a total of $1.5M. If they offered ten times that, it's $15M.

        FIFA 16 sold around 2.5 million copies, so at the $15k price paying for licensing is adding around a dollar to the price of each game sold. At ten times that rate it would be US$7-10 dollars per copy, which is probably not sustainable.

        Development costs are probably not all that high (since they are likely doing some combination of recycling the engine from the previous year and sharing the engine between their various franchises) but $10 per game is a pretty serious chunk of change. Admittedly Iceland would be a significant addition this year, but bumping their rate risks other countries holding out for the same sort of increase.

        I can see why Iceland is ticked off at the low offer, but I can definitely see why EA aren't offering more.

    I actually think the KSI president is being quite narrowly minded here. The FIFA games have a ridiculously large audience and not having your team in is a huge marketing loss, including for the players themselves.
    The fact there getting offered any sort of amount (compared to nothing the previous years), how could you not take that offer?

    Typical. EA are HUGE money makers, and they think that miserly offering is enough to acquire the rights for a national football team (even if it is Iceland who have only recently made headlines)? EA will make an inordinate amount of money on the sale of FIFA 17, and those rights are worth a lot more to EA than what $US15,000 is worth to the Icelandic football team (once again, even if it is relatively new found fame). I'm glad Iceland turned EA down and thought more of their identity than a lowball figure - that offer was an embarrassment given the context of the situation.

    How many $$ in sales will not having Iceland lose them?
    And $15k will pay for at least one junior.

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