EA and Porsche have traditionally held a strict licensing agreement within the racing game industry. But that exclusivity agreement is about to expire. According to a translation from the German website SpeedManiacs, Porsche is uninterested in providing an exclusive licensing agreement for EA games, and both companies have agreed to let the deal expire.
Originally posted on NeoGAF, an interview with Porsche Entertainment Manager Sebastian Hornung reveals that the licensing agreement was simply no longer beneficial to both EA and Porsche. The interview suggests that Porsche may not search from another company, but instead widen their approach to Porsche inclusion within racing video games.
A statement from EA on the licensing deal explains a bit more information behind the expiration. According to Polygon, Porsche cars will still be available in EA racing games. “We continue to have an excellent, long-standing relationship with Porsche,” EA states. “We mutually agreed earlier this year to continue our relationship under a non-exclusive licensing agreement, and we will continue to feature Porsche cars in future EA racing games.”
Speculation originally arose after the realistic racing simulator Assetto Corsa released a Porsche DLC pack on Oct. 25, 2016. The pack was critically acclaimed on Steam, thanks in part to Porsche’s long legacy within the Need for Speed franchise. However, the company’s inclusion rose heads within the gaming community, since Porsche licensing was largely associated with EA brands. Including Porsche in a DLC pack suggested that EA was retiring the licensing agreement.
Porsche cars first appeared in EA titles in 2000, when Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed hit store shelves. And while well received in EA titles, racing game fans across the gaming community have been eager to see new interpretations of Porsche cars from various other franchises. With Porsche clearly refusing to hook onto another exclusivity agreement anytime soon, racing franchises across the industry may be featuring Porsche cars in the near future. Check back for more news.