EA is moving away from its decades-long FIFA series with the release of EA Sports FC later this week. It seems that the publisher is taking the idea of replacing FIFA quite literally, too, as it has pulled every previous FIFA game from sale on PC storefronts Steam and Epic.
EA Sports FC 24 was revealed as the non-FIFA-licensed successor to EA’s hugely popular football franchise back in July, following the split between the video game giant and the sports organisation of previous questionable repute after almost 30 years of mutual money-making in May 2022.
While EA’s future video games won’t be able to use the FIFA name as the result of the rebranding, it won’t quite be a return to the days of Ryan Greggs and Ronaird, as EA is still able to licence individual clubs, leagues and players for their sanctioned appearance in EAFC. However, while UEFA tournaments such as the Champions League and Europa League will show up, FIFA tournaments like the World Cup won’t be playable.
If you’re itching for those FIFA-related elements, you won’t be able to return to them easily, it appears. EA has yanked all of its past FIFA titles from sale on Steam and the Epic Games Store on PC (as well as the PlayStation and Xbox stores on console), with last year’s final entry FIFA 23 now only available to play by signing up for the EA Play subscription service. (Thanks, PCGamesN.)
On Steam, FIFA 23 notes the removal as being an EA decision: “At the request of the publisher, EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 is unlisted on the Steam store and will not appear in search.”
The decision is perhaps unsurprising, given that EAFC looks like FIFA with the serial numbers filed off. The similarities include a continuation of FIFA’s massively profitable and often controversial Ultimate Team mode, where players can spend real money to crack open virtual packs of footballer cards to build the best possible side. In a welcome addition, Ultimate Team will now include women players. You can also now upgrade your cards by completing objectives using the Evolutions system.
There are some minor gameplay tweaks in the form of a new animation system – said to have over 1,000 unique running styles – and the replacement of traits by PlayStyles, which grant specific boosts in certain skills, from shooting to passing.
EA Sports FC 24 will land on PC on September 29th, while those who stumped for the game’s Ultimate Edition have been able to play since the 22nd.