On Sept. 30, 2022, EA Sports released their 29th game, FIFA 23. Even though the game sold 10.6 million copies in the first week of its release, a record-breaking quantity, this is unfortunately not going to change the fact that this be the last game produced under EA Sports as they end their contract with FIFA.
Although EA ended its partnership with FIFA, this will not be the final soccer game they will make. They announced a new game, which will come out in late 2023. In a blog post, they announced the game would consist of over 19,000 players, 700 teams, 100 stadiums and 30 leagues.
Last month, it was announced that EA was buying the rights to the Premier League for around £488 million, or $588 million. Along with purchasing the rights, EA Sports FC will acquire access to all 20 teams, players and apparel through the 2022 to 2023 season.
While the split marks the end of the EA-FIFA, it is not the end of FIFA Games, as they have vowed to make their own separate game away from EA though no news has come out about it. However, with EA partnership deals in place, we may see a return to what FIFA was before the deals were made. Going forward will not be able to use the names and teams as those would belong to EA.
FIFA Games started in 1993 with the release of FIFA International Soccer on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. Unlike FIFA 23, which features leagues from all over the world, FIFA International was completely different as the game featured 76 international teams while not having any actual players in the game. The following year saw the company introduce club teams within eight of the national leagues, those being Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France, Netherlands and the United States.
It was not until FIFA Soccer 96 that the game started using real players though only some of the teams’ real players, such as the team U.S. was still made up of fake players.
FIFA 23 was met with mixed reviews. Metacritic critics review the game favorably, with a rating of 70 out of 100, many calling the game an improvement and a step in the right direction. The same can not be said for the users. The user rating was 2.2 out of 10 with over 200 reviews, even lower than it was in 2022 when it was rated 2.6. The main gripes of the game were people calling it out for the few changes that were made since the last product. Even though it was one of the most profitable in the history of FIFA, it is clear that many who bought the game did not have a favorable experience with it.
EA Sports FC is set to release around the same time the FIFA games tend to be released, around the end of September or the beginning of October 2023. With the new games and branding, many fans are hoping the remodeled game will be different and play better.