Friday, August 12, 2022

FIFA 23 – what do we know so far?

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The FIFA series of games has been like nothing else in the history of gaming. Yes, there have been other classic sports games – John Madden football and Brian Lara cricket spring to mind, but none has connected the worlds of sport and gaming so effectively. FIFA has succeeded as an eSport in a way that NBA 2K can only dream about, but is also up there among the all time legends from a purely gaming perspective, one of a handful of titles that has inspired gamers to camp out overnight to get hold of a copy. 

This year, it all comes to an end. 30 years on from FIFA International Soccer’s release on the SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis, FIFA 23 will be the last of the line. EA Sport assures us that subsequent releases will continue, but under the new title EA Sports FC. That makes FIFA 23 something extra special – few game franchises have lasted 30 years, and so FIFA and EA Sport will want to end on a high.

FIFA 23 Cover star

It’s fair to say you know you’ve made it in sport when you make the cover of FIFA. Bookmakers are even taking bets on who will feature on FIFA 23, and the favourite is Norway and Manchester City star Erling Haaland. Under normal FIFA rules of engagement, Haaland would be the obvious choice, although Kylian Mbappé is also a good shout – he was the cover star for FIFA 21 and FIFA 22, so there’s every chance he could appear for a third year. 

There’s always the possibility that EA will go for something a little different for the last ever FIFA, perhaps a cover featuring multiple stars from the past 30 years. It’s a nice idea, but we still feel the smart money is on Haaland.

FIFA for free?

One rumour that refuses to die is that FIFA 23 will be free to play, at least in part. Given today’s competition, there is some logic to the idea. PES continues to erode FIFA’s market dominance, while the Gamble Online Real Money Casino site shows there are dozens of online casino platforms with free-to-play football-themed slot games and other casino-style football games like Football Studio.  

The change of name could play into the hands of these competitors, so don’t be surprised if EA sacrifices some short term turnover in favour of getting more players tied into the game ready for the transition to EA Sports FC.

New clubs and licensing changes

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It’s a case of three in and one out if the rumour mill is to be believed. FC Bordeaux has quietly disappeared after being relegated to the French third division in real life last month. Meanwhile it’s a warm welcome for FC Andorra, Grimsby Town and Stockport County. 

Licensing peculiarities also mean a couple of slightly bizarre name changes for FIFA 23, all relating to Serie A Italian clubs. Specifically, Juventus will be called Piemonte Calcio, AS Roma are Roma FC, Lazio is Latium and Atalanta are renamed Bergamo Calcio.

Keep an eye out for more news on FIFA 23 over the coming weeks – and in particular, watch out for the official trailer, which should appear by the end of July. 

Read: FIFA 23: Everything we know about cross-play and other features coming to the game

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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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