Rumours are already circling around FIFA 23, the next game in the FIFA video game series from EA.
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, ahead of the release of the next game in the series, expected autumn next year.
When is the release date for FIFA 23?
Although little is known just yet, expect the new instalment in the FIFA series - whatever form it comes in - is expected to drop in autumn of 2022.
FIFA tends 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 FIFA 23 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 FIFA 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.
Will FIFA 23 have a different name?
FIFA's naming convention is well-expected but with the license of using the FIFA name coming to an end, EA may well change 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.”
It appears that FIFA 23 might well be called EA FC.
The title has been registered with the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office, the European Union Intellectual Property Office as well as the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is listed as "a computer game software and online computer game entertainment".
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 FIFA 23?
As of yet, it's unknown who - if anyone - will be on the cover of the next FIFA 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 next 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 FIFA 23?
Hypermotion was the big headline for FIFA 22, given the move to next-gen consoles: expect the FIFA series to develop more on that in the coming months and years.
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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