Gianni Infantino, president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), has officially announced the following. will not play the new FIFA this year (specifically, FIFA 24). This will happen for the first time since FIFA International Soccer was released in 1993. Infantino only mentioned that the legendary series will return, but in 2024.
FIFA 25, planned at the time, is expected to be “the best game for everyone” (whatever that means). These words only confirmed what gamers around the world had guessed – the following. EA Sports FC 24 will be the only (serious) soccer game on the market for the next year. Because of this, the FIFA series may be quickly forgotten by players fed by Electronic Arts with the new series name at every turn. Besides, FIFA 25 may not be a success at all.
The lack of a new FIFA is quite a problem, because when EA announced its split with the International Football Federation, it seemed obvious that Infantino and company would work up a sweat to keep the legendary series alive, but with other developers at the helm.
There has been much speculation about interest from 2K Games (which publishes the NBA 2K series of basketball games every year) and even a possible takeover of the FIFA series by Konami, which has been developing a competing product Pro Evolution Soccer (more recently known as eFootball) since the dawn of time. Unfortunately for gamers, nothing came of these speculations, and the Infantino made it clear that EA had won, had become the only company on the battleground, and that the attempt to return to FIF will not happen until next year.
FIFA 24 would drive competition
Why might this turn of events be detrimental to players? Lack of competition is never a good thing. EA Sports, feeling the breath of a rival on its back, would even be forced to work titanically to improve its productin order to convince fans that EA FC 24 is better than a hypothetical FIFA 24 game.
The latter would have a very strong brand on its side, which is associated with almost everyone in the world, and even if it was a much lower quality production, surely hundreds of thousands, if not millions of “Sunday” players could reach for the title if only out of habit, not realizing the changes in the category of football games.
Thus, any new game signed with the federation’s logo will be only a shadow of its former glory.
I myself was quietly hoping that, despite the long silence from Infantino and company, FIFA 24 will be released in some form at the end of 2023. EA pushed to the wall would have to stand out with something, and so we have no guarantee that “electronics” will care about it. Sure, I’ve already played a preview of EA Sports FC 24 free and I think it will be a really good game, using the solutions of FIF 23 and adding a lot of interesting flavors, but I can’t help thinking that an earthquake in the form of, for example, FIF 2K24 from 2K Games could make many players think carefully about their choices.
At this point, I have in front of my eyes Gianni Infantino, who has already announced the following. FIFA logo will be signed by many games, including mobile productions, and I can’t help but think about the brand’s deployment. Can you imagine a mobile “clicker” with FIFA in the name? Or a manager where you have to buy virtual diamonds to shorten the renewal time when putting up more buildings? Such actions on the part of the federation will not only not strengthen the brand, but will actually weaken it and cause players to look at other productions in the FIFA series with reluctance.
What’s more, the longer FIF isn’t on the market, the less chance any serious studio will take up the brand.
In addition, the actions of FIFA and Infantino’s organization cast the series in an even worse light, as news of corruption scandals and other morally questionable stories are regularly leaked to the media. If FIFA decides (or has already decided) to entrust the prized license to a smaller developer, it will I don’t think the finished product will be able to compete with EA FC, which earns hundreds of millions of dollars. Rather, I see here a budget proposition that will want to make up for technical shortcomings with innovation or simply a lower price.
FIFA 25 must delight us
At this point, the FIFA series is left with one option in my opinion – to show that it still counts in the market. FIFA 25 should be a complete product, similar to the rival EA FC – not deviating from a technical or licensing point of view, but at the same time offering something extra. What immediately comes to mind is the addition of a special game mode with all the world’s national teams, offered by special versions of FIFA, such as World Cup 2006 or 2010.
A robust multiplayer module along the lines of Ultimate Team would have to be added. If 2K Games were in charge of production, their MyTeam mode from NBA 2K would be perfect for this. A second idea native to NBA 2K also immediately comes to mind here, namely. feature player career mode. It’s the driving force behind successive installments of the basketball series, and we won’t see it in EA FC 24. FIFA has admittedly had a love affair in the past, thanks in part to the Alex Hunter story, but it was very far from the level of execution known from 2K Games titles.
There are probably many, many more potential changes. Gamers themselves, who have complained year after year about the bugs in each successive FIF, could give a production that doesn’t rely so heavily on micropayments a chance (though in the case of 2K Games I wouldn’t count on it).
While I will definitely be playing EA FC 24 (probably a lot), I can guarantee you one thing – I will be playing it. FIF 25 I intend to test by all means, because I am incredibly curious to see how and if it will be able to compete at all with the proposal of the hegemon that has been Electronic Arts for years.