There are certain things in life you could rely on, like a new FIFA or Call of Duty game releasing every year, at around the same time, for us to enjoy with a sense of easy familiarity - until now, that is.
Not only is Call of Duty looking to take a year off in 2023 (after Modern Warfare 2 launches this year), but also the governing body of world football is ending its partnership with EA and heading for a new home. So the world has been completely turned on its head, basically.
In case you missed the news: this year's FIFA 23 will be the last game made in that franchise made by EA Sports. FIFA will seek new partners, and EA will rebrand its own football offering as EA Sports FC from next year onwards.
It's a risky move by both parties involved in the split. The name FIFA is so engrained in gamers now that it's hard to imagine something else taking the crown. But on the flip side, while gameplay is almost always strong with FIFA, the growing use of microtransactions has lost the franchise a lot of love from some quarters.
Either way, it is going to be a very interesting time in the world of football simulations. But while we wait for the change to come, here is all we know about what EA's replacement will be - read on to learn about EA Sports FC.
EA Sports FC release date?
Educated guess time. We imagine that the EA Sports FC release date will occur around September 2023.
September is usually when EA releases its football games, although they sometimes slip into October, and we can't imagine EA wanting to move out of that prime slot in the season.
It's worth noting that this autumn, the fall of 2022, you should expect to see FIFA 23 on shop shelves as normal. That is the last FIFA game that EA will make, before the company moves on to EA Sports FC from next year.
- FIFA soundtrack - every song from every game
- FIFA 23 ratings - the best players revealed
- FIFA 23 release date - all the latest news
- FIFA 23 web app - when it drops
- FIFA 23 early access - how to get it
- FIFA 23 price - how much does it cost?
- FIFA 23 crossplay - new feature explained
- FIFA 23 Heroes and Icons - all FUT World Cup cards
- FIFA 22 formations and tactics - tips from a pro player
- FIFA 22 cheap players - find a bargain in Career Mode
- FIFA 22 young players - the best wonderkids to sign
- FIFA 22 Career Mode teams - the best and worst clubs
- FIFA 22 goalkeepers - the best shot-stoppers in the game
- FIFA 22 defenders - best RB, LB, CB, RWB and LWB
- FIFA 22 midfielders - best CM, CDM and CAM
- FIFA 22 wingers - best LM, RM, LW and RW
- FIFA 22 strikers - best and fastest ST and CF
- FIFA 22 review - a giant leap for realism, but some things never change
What platforms can I get EA Sports FC on?
Wherever FIFA is out now is likely to be where EA Sports FC gets released - so PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC look certain, and we'd predict that PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch fans will also be able to get involved in some capacity.
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It's worth noting, though, that the Switch versions of FIFA generally don't get the same gameplay improvements as the bigger consoles. It'll be interesting to see if EA Sports FC goes down that same 'Legacy Edition' road on Switch.
EA Sports FC gameplay
Making it clear that returning players don't need to worry about losing their favourite features, the EA Sports blog has said: "Everything you love about our games will be part of EA Sports FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there.
"Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA Sports FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come."
The big question though is what will be new? It can't just be a carbon copy of the FIFA that came before it. And a number of EA execs have started teasing what their big ideas are for EA Sports FC.
EA's Andrew Wilson told the New York Times: "It was really about how can we do more for the players, more for the fans, how can we offer them more modalities to play. How can we bring more partners into the game, how can we expand beyond the bounds of the traditional game."
Another EA exec, David Jackson, told the BBC: "The world of football and the world of entertainment are changing, and they clash within our product. In the future our players will demand of us the ability to be more expansive in that offering."
Jackson added: "At the moment, we engage in play as a primary form of interactive experience. Soon, watching and creating content are going to be equally as important for fans.
"Under the licensing conventions that we had agreed with FIFA 10 years ago, there were some restrictions that weren't going to allow us to be able to build those experiences for players."
It sounds like EA Sports FC will factor in some kind of content creating/viewing features, then. It may be a while before more information on this comes to light, but we'll keep you posted as and when we hear it.
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