With FIFA 23, a real era comes to an end at EA Sports: for almost 30 years, the studio, together with the football world association that gave it its name, brought its sports simulation onto the market. With over 100 million units sold, the franchise has comfortably made the top 10 best-selling video game franchises of all time. Sales are easily in the billions. FIFA is a success story that is second to none.
This year, however, the iconic four letters are emblazoned on the cover of the EA kicker for the last time, together with world star Kylian Mbappé. As FIFA announced this April, as the licensee of the trademark and naming rights, they want to look for other partners and maybe even develop their own games. Electronic Arts will therefore publish its titles under the name EA Sports FC in the future. Until then, the makers want to say goodbye with a big bang. “FIFA 23 has to be special,” line producer Matt LaFreniere told us during a studio visit in Vancouver. It should be a successful ending. The biggest, most beautiful and of course the best FIFA ever published. Even more ambitious, even more inclusive and even more networked.
Of course, that starts with the content: FIFA 23 (buy now €39.99) is incredibly lucky to have two World Cups in its life cycle: the Men’s World Cup in Qatar in winter 2022 and the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Of course, the makers want to take the hype surrounding these two major international tournaments with them, with the appropriate game modes.
Exact information has not yet been revealed to us. Apart from an offline integration of the two cups (including teams, trophies, jerseys, logos and anthems), we will probably be able to look forward to an Ultimate Team offshoot again. In it, you build your own dream team of international stars, as you did in 2018 for the World Cup in Russia, and try to win the football crown. EA intends to provide further details in the coming weeks.
FIFA 23 also focuses on the world of women’s football in other ways: with the Australian international Sam Kerr, a female athlete can be seen on the cover for the first time. Her club, English champions Chelsea FC, will also feature in the game – along with all the other clubs in the Women’s Super League, England’s top tier of women’s football.
On top of that there is the Division 1 Féminine around Olympique Lyon, the current Champions League winner. The two divisions are even provided with their own transmission packages! In which game variants the women’s teams can be used, for example whether a career in the WSL is also possible, EA has unfortunately not yet announced anything about this.
Source: EA Sports
Inclusion and accessibility are also a top priority when it comes to gameplay: FIFA 23 introduces a new training center, including new tutorials and skill games that gently introduce even the absolute layman to the topic of football. Also, there’s finally crossplay in all 1v1 game modes, such as Online Seasons and Ultimate Team. However, the whole thing does not work across generations. Blame it on HyperMotion technology. This ensures that the gameplay on current-gen and old-gen is too different and clashes between the two would probably be quite unfair. Accordingly, PS4 and Xbox One owners keep to themselves. Those who are on the Playstation 5, on the other hand, can look forward to matches against Xbox Series, Google Stadia and even the PC! FIFA 23 finally brings all current-gen features to the home computer.
According to the creators of EA Vancouver, the crossplay functions are to be expanded even further in the future. What exactly that means remains to be seen. Maybe crossplay games in four-player co-op, in Pro Clubs or in VOLTA will be possible in the future. The time will tell.
Last but not least, there are of course a few innovations on the feature front: the HyperMotion technology introduced last year has been revised again. So we can assume that the combination of motion capture and machine learning in FIFA 23 will conjure up an even smoother gaming experience on the virtual pitch. EA Sports only wants to reveal more about this in the coming weeks. At least we already know the release date: The latest EA kicker will hit PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series and Google Stadia on September 30, 2022.