Rumours are already circling around EA FC – it's not going to be called FIFA 23 after all.
FIFA 22 dropped at the start of October 2021, to a storming first weekend, which tallied 9.1 million players, 7.6 million Ultimate Team squads and 460 million matches.
Now, attention turns to updates across the next year of the game – which has a new name…
When is the release date for EA FC?
Although little is known just yet, EA FC, is expected to drop in the autumn of 2022.
FIFA has tended to become available for download from October onwards, with early access reserved for the middle of September. Whether EA change the format of the game or not, we can still expect that the schedule shall remain the same.
Will EA FC be free to play?
For a number of years now, there has been talk about whether EA would move to a free-to-play structure, similar to games such as Fortnite.
Speculation intensified this year when Konami took the step of rebranding their iconic Pro Evolution Soccer series into the free-to-play title, eFootball. eFootball is expected to give users rolling updates to the franchise, such as new player ratings and kits, rather than producing a whole new game - and fans have questioned whether this is the direction that EA FC will ultimately move in.
But while free-to-play titles with subscription-based features become the future for EA, there's no announcement just yet to suggest FIFA 22 is the last traditional release.
Why is FIFA 23 called EA FC?
With the license of using the FIFA name coming to an end, EA have changed the name of the series - similar to Konami's eFootball.
This was hinted at in a press release from EA, with EA Sports GM Cam Weber claiming, "We’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”
Now, FIFA 23 has been announced as being called EA FC.
EA have also recently renewed their deal with FIFPRO though, meaning that EA can continue using the "thousands of player names and likenesses" in the game.
Who will be on the cover of EA FC?
As of yet, it's unknown who - if anyone - will be on the cover of the EA FC game.
For the last two instalments, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has been on the front of the game - but his prospective transfer means that there could be a different club represented on the cover at least next season.
Mbappe is expected to move to Real Madrid this summer. The last Real star on the cover was Eden Hazard in 2020, while Cristiano Ronaldo was on the two games previous.
It seems as if EA have moved away from regional covers, however. In the past, a copy of FIFA bought in the UK would have a Premier League star, for example - such as FIFA 16's Jordan Henderson - but with downloads becoming more popular and physical sales of the game declining, it seems like that might be a thing of the past.
What new features should we expect from EA FC?
Hypermotion was the big headline for FIFA 22, given the move to next-gen consoles: expect the EA FC series to develop more on that in the coming months and years.
Aside from that, it's a clean slate for the brand. With a new name comes potential for new features – with only "interactivity" being touted so far. Could EA FC enable cross-platform play between users?
EA tend to work on three-year cycles when it comes to features in their games. The massively popular The Journey came in three separate instalments, charting the rise of Alex Hunter, between FIFA 17 and FIFA 19, for example. FIFA 22, by that logic, could well be the conclusion of the Volta mode – meaning a new story mode or street football mode could well be around the corner for the next version of the game.
Another thing that EA have been keen to work on is the integration of women's football in the FIFA series, introducing women to Pro Clubs in the latest version of the game. Club women's football is still absent from the game; with the improved TV contract in the WSL, it's possible that EA may well be exploring integrating more women's teams into the future of the title.
EA's big money-spinner Ultimate Team is expected to remain untouched, while Career Mode - which has seen a lot of updates in the last couple of years - may well stay the same in the next version of the title, too.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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