Porsche’s Exclusive Contract with EA Reportedly Set to Expire in 2016

Porsche-911-Turbo-Line-up

For the past 15 years, Porsche gaming fans haven’t had much to get excited about. The famous German marque rarely appears in video games thanks to a special, strange exclusivity contract with Electronic Arts. Not much is known about the details of the agreement (IGN went in-depth on the topic earlier this year), but to summarize: a video game can’t include a Porsche without EA’s blessing.

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So far, only Turn 10 has been able to tempt (or, likely, pay) EA, with Porsches occasionally appearing in the Forza Motorsport series. A selection of the cars were in Forza Motorsport 4, and the cars just recently came to Forza Horizon 2 in a new expansion pack. They’ll also be in Forza Motorsport 6, but not until next year (the game itself will be released on September 15th).

ea-logoWhy do fans have to wait until 2016? That’s when EA’s exclusivity agreement ends, according to an article published yesterday by Ars Technica. The tech news site got early access to the Turn 10 studios and developers last week, where apparently some details about the Porsche agreement were disclosed:

“[…] Porsche will be back, too, although not until 2016—Electronic Arts still has an exclusive license for the German sports car maker until then.”

If true, and the contract lapses without being renewed, it could open the floodgates for Porsche cars in all types of racing games, from Gran Turismo, to Project CARS, Assetto Corsa, iRacing, and beyond. At the very least, it would put Porsche’s licensing decisions back into the hands of the company itself instead of a video game publisher.

Of course, this isn’t an official announcement from Porsche, EA, or even Turn 10 – just a third-hand report from Ars Technica. Regardless, it’s an interesting observation from a significant news outlet that might offer a promising glimpse into the future.

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Comments (64)

  1. GBalao888

    I have a feeling that when this is out, EA can still have Porsches, but it’s not exclusive anymore, as every other racing game will have Porsches, starting with Forza and then GT.

  2. Haulin_Hebrew

    It is a terrible downward spiral we are all in concerning The Porsche EA license, But Who is to blame for the absents of Porsche from today’s Sim Racing Offerings? Porsche for over looking the giant global role Sim Racing has on Autosports, and future Auto enthusiast? EA for making shrewd business decisions against it’s competition? Polyphony Digital, SMS, and Assetto Corsa for not having, or developing a good business relationship with the Super Power EA. With only the exception of Turn 10 Studio’s who has humbled themselves for their Autosports Enthusiest Customers, That depends on your POV and personal interest, My POV is from a 15 year GT fan, and with the latest news with Forza Horizan2 I blame Kazonori Yamauchi, because I Love GT and Porsche,and I believe he has the business savvy to make it happen, but I question if he understands how much we Love Porsche,and I have NO interest in XBOX.

  3. gt3_racer05

    don’t worry, guys, EA is gonna do it again right after the contract ends. Lol (I hope I’m wrong)

    1. Pit Crew

      True. Every time the contract has expired, EA has renewed. The Monopoly will continue…unfortunately…

  4. dualshock

    Wow they’ve had it for that long! Porsche must of been mad signing that, or just not very far sighted, as not having their cars available to all games must be bad for them. In my opinion the manufactures should pay the game makers to feature their vehicles anyway, and not the other way round!! Maybe now we can have a 928 and a Gulf 917

    1. SmileyOr1

      One of my favorite lexan car bodies for 1/10th scale on-road race cars was the Porsche 917-30. I’d dearly love to drive a virtual 917-30 Can-Am car around some historic tracks. What was it, 1,500 HP in qualifying tune? 1,100 hp throughout the race.

      We need a couple McLaren’s, some March’s and a few others to go along with it though :)

    2. Johnnypenso

      Yeah, it’s so bad they are the most profitable/unit car company in the entire world. Imagine how much better they’d be if they’d only been in Gran Turismo…oh wait…

    3. Scheer

      JP, Porsche are doing so well because they’re selling highly profitable SUVs. About twice as many as they are 911s. GT helped spark a massive JDM import boom in europe and the Skyline became a bit of a hero car. It also helped up the profile of TVR. Anyhow, should I find myself in the position, I don’t want a Porsche I want a Ruf! :)

  5. Pseudopod

    It’s all about the money. If EA will pay more for exclusivity than Porsche thinks they can get from every other racing dev combined, EA will get exclusivity.

    1. Scheer

      It was a stupid deal done at a time before manufacturers realised that games were a great marketing tool that could create future customers. If EA had paid so much, they would have at least used the licence a great deal more. The IGN article linked above is worth a read. Quote:
      Andre Oosthuizen, VP of marketing for Porsche Cars North America stated “In many ways, best-selling gaming titles like Forza Motorsport 4 generate enthusiasm for products that often translate into a lifelong connection to the brand.”

  6. VBR

    Let’s hope that Porsche are under no obligation to renew, & that they have enough common sense to never sign an exclusive deal again. I just got my hands on a Fanatec Porsche 911 GT2 wheel, would be great to drive a Porsche with it in a simulation!

    1. Pit Crew

      Unfortunately, Porsche and EA’s business relationship is quite long and Intimate in a corporate sense. In other words don’t get your hopes up of seeing the Porsche brand in GT series anytime soon, unless Kaz does something totally out of character.

  7. Tvensky

    great news if true.. I dream about them since Gran tuismo 4, speaking of which, GT7 seems like it will be same as for PS3 and GT5 (endless years of waiting, and when it come out, PS5 will hit) :D slightly disappointed that PD didnt appear in E3 2015… or will they do it alone, or Gamescom?

  8. Ryowatanbe201

    You think EA will loose this?? Nope they never will and if they do it’s because porsche did something about it. Now if we get porsches in GT7 that will be cool but i hope we don’t loose RUF. Why don’t pd get exclusive to all jap brands and few german and italian ones…next nfs porsche unleashed 2 …because we had no choice..

    LOL. Please don’t hate. XD

    1. Tvensky

      maybe EA isnt that stupid (they actually are most stupid publisher the world has ever seen (they could do 10 times better if they would make right choices)). Porsche isnt that stupid for sure, giving away marketing rights is lame idea, they can dig that for sure, I hope someone there has some intelligence and they end that bloody contract!

    2. Johnnypenso

      EA is so stupid their latest financials show a net income of $0.875 Billion. I wish I was that stupid.

    3. Scheer

      Unless there’s a watertight renewal option in there somewhere they won’t be able to and Porsche won’t want to. If they’re so business savvy why haven’t they milked their exclusive for all it’s worth?

    4. Scheer

      Even the most profitable companies make stupid mistakes and miss out on $billions. Google let Orkut wither because they didn’t think social networking was going to amount to anything! Thing is, this ‘small stuff’ has deprived gamers of an important and historic manufacturer and Porsche of valuable brand building. They could have at least made money by more sub-licensing to other devs, but even Turn 10 said they were a-holes to deal with. Anyhow, hopefully next year I’ll be pretending to be Steve McQueen in a Gulf 917 at Le Mans :)

  9. gtfanforlife

    So is Polyphony waiting to announce a new game, so that they can show Porsche’s in the trailer????!!!!????

  10. RodolphoPNeto

    I still can’t believe how someone in charge of anything in a brand as big as Porsche would make that decision… 5 games? a couple of years? Fine, i would assume things might have changed in almost 2 friggin’ decades. I guess money was never the problem otherwise they would have just pay themselves out of that contract…

    Anyway, i don’t know squat, but i’m confident that all devs will have Porsches in their next games, just a feeling.

  11. machine1121

    The full quote leaves some doubt in my opinion.

    “Touring cars also make an appearance, and Porsche will be back, too, although not until 2016—Electronic Arts still has an exclusive license for the German sports car maker until then. Negotiations between Turn 10 and EA are going well, we’re told, evinced a couple of weeks ago by the arrival of a Porsche DLC pack for Forza Horizon 2.”

    If the exclusive license were truly ending, why would Turn 10 and EA still be in negotiations. I’m fearful that the EA exclusivity may be ending only due to a permanent sub-licence to Turn 10. Yes, this would be great news for the Forza franchise, but it still doesn’t benefit Porsche in the best way. Porsche should desire to have their collection of iconic road and race cars featured in Gran Turismo, Project CARS, Assetto Corsa, iRacing, ect… as well as Forza and EA titles.

    1. RACECAR

      At worst (IF that were to happen, which I doubt), it would only be limited to disallowing Developers on Xbox from having Porsches. Wouldn’t stop PD.

  12. RolexToaster

    If this is true it would make sense since Turn 10 themselves have said that Porsche will be in forza 6 but by add on in 2016. Could this mean they didnt want to pay to have it featured in Forza 6 but wait untill the Ea contact expired?

    1. RolexToaster

      Oops didnt read the first paragraph. But still Porsche better not renew that pact with satan.

  13. JadeRaven

    Nice. Still a little vague… 2016 is a full 366 days. ;)

    Back in the day, the best games with real cars were pretty much the Need for Speed series, and Porsche was a big deal. Moving forward Gran Turismo upped the game, and with every improvement of Gran Turismo the NFS franchise got worse and worse. Porsche became essentially an unplayable brand which lasted for about a decade until recent DLC packs in other franchises.

    I know Kaz has mentioned several times that he and Porsche have a positive relationship. If Porsche isn’t in GT7 it’d be a disappointment to say the least… I’ve been waiting for them since GT1. :)

    1. Tunerguy21

      What I’ll never understand is if the relationship between Kaz and Porsche is so positive, why would they still let EA renew the exclusivity contract, or at the very least decide their own licencing matters. IIRC, this isn’t the first time that contract was set to expire.

  14. montecarlo87

    I’m surprised EA still exists simply because of this fact. I know I and many other people have stopped playing anything with the EA satan mark on it until they relinquish the hold on Porsche.

  15. SavageEvil

    Here’s thinking back to Kaz says that he want’s Porsche in the game but not until the exclusivity right expire and that Porsche AG had expressed ideas about their cars appearing in the game, it was mainly talk. Pretty sure that Porsche AG wants to showcase their marquee cars in more top of the line games and high profile advertising. Porsche AG should be licensing this stuff in-house and not through a greedy 3rd party outfit like EA who likes to stifle competition. Besides EA has been squandering Porsche for a great many years, time for them to come to the bargaining table like every one else and bargain for license from the main man. This will be great as Project Car, GT, Assetto Corsa and others will benefit and Porsche will benefit from massive amounts of visibility across the world.

    1. SavageEvil

      Hey @Jordan you should put a question mark in that title so no one comes in thinking it’s official information and thus saving you from the onslaught of internet grumpies, lol.

  16. omgitsbees

    The rumor’s i’ve read suggest that this license has only ever lasted one year at a time and EA and Porsche choose to renew it each year. So i’m not getting my hopes up here, I think EA will continue to have Porsche.

  17. GTRacer22

    Not getting my hopes up. They’re just going to renew it again. Who knows, maybe I’ll be wrong.

  18. MarchingSaint

    Guys get your itshappening.gif ready, crispy clean and high res ’cause if Porsche get involved in GT7 we’re gonna party really really hard.

  19. sirjim73

    Sounds like good news for gaming generally.
    As long as Technica aren’t talking out of their Ars lol

    Big if, but if the contract IS due to lapse in 2016, then the agreement to sub licence the cars to Forza Horizon 2 could have been EA’s way of squeezing revenue out of the contract in its final year. That would certainly make good business sense as it gives them a double whammy of income this year as there is 6 months between the sublicence money from Horizon 2 and the money they will make from the new Need for Speed.

  20. AudiMan2011

    Rumours of the Porsche-EA contract ending have surfaced every single year.

    I find it really hard to believe it until both parties come out and make statements to confirm it.

    Otherwise I expect EA will pony up the cash to keep their stranglehold on the Porsche licence.

  21. Lambob

    if I were Kaz, I’d just troll Porsche in 2016 by continuing to not include them in the greatest sim to come. my how the tables can turn.

    1. SavageEvil

      Not Porsche’s fault, EA had the license and Porsche can’t break contract like that. It is likely that the last renewal came with different stipulations, we’ll find out. I was sure that the last renewal was less that 3 years ago though, I could be wrong.
      Porsche just made a deal way back when and no one had the idea that EA would be such bell ends about it and try to starve other developers out.

    2. Pit Crew

      Kaz isn’t continuing to “not let ” Porsche in the GT series. If only that were the case…Also Lambob I think you missed the key issue, that being the Porsche contract has been in EA’s possession since the first Need For Speed title on PS1, a good year or so before Kaz had finished Gran Turismo.That’s a more than 20 year business relationship.Regardless of us GT fans feelings on the matter,its business, not personal.

  22. TRLWNC7396

    How awesome can we get! I SO VERY MUCH hope that Porsche will NOT RENEW!!!! PLEASE!!!! I want the classic LMP cars from them!!!! PLEASE!!!!

    Oh, and all of the old cars, new cars, and everything in between cars, as well…. ;)

    YES, YES, YES!!!!!!

  23. Lambob

    1 step closer to realisation that EA is dissolving itself as a gaming publisher. can’t come soon enough.

    am I alone in thinking, “who cares” about Porsche? have we moved on to care about the manufacturers that care about its fans?

  24. DCybertron

    YAAAAAAASSSS.

    But now – What will happen to RUF? They’ve been the Porsche Replacements, and are probably just gonna get tossed aside now.

    1. MarchingSaint

      Highly doubt that,if Porsche gets included to GT we can only get the newest and meanest Ruf models.

    1. ApexHunter180

      PD needs to keep the RUFs and add more ruf’s, RWB, oem Porsches, and etc IF EA end that contract with Porsche :(

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