It's a classic at the end of September, every year for 30 years: the release of the new football game from EA Sports. Formerly called "FIFA", under the partnership signed between the American developer of the game and the international football federation, the game, which is released this Friday worldwide on PC and consoles (Xbox, Playstation and Switch), may have abandoned its iconic name, it remains the same, with a few nuances. We explain all this to you.
From "Fifa" to "EAFC", why is the game changing its name?
Gamers who have become accustomed to spotting the "FIFA" franchise on store shelves may need to look twice this year. The latest addition to EA Sports is called "EA Sports FC 24", a change that has been planned for many months and that comes into effect this season. The reason: the non-renewal of the contract between EA Sports and the international football federation, which brought €85 million per year to FIFA. A small revolution that stops at the cosmetic aspect. It should also be noted that Kylian Mbappé, who played the main role on the cover of the game for three years, was replaced this summer by Norwegian Erling Haaland.
Special delivery for @ErlingHaaland
Pre-order #FC24 Ultimate Edition now and play Early Access starting September 22 https://t.co/y4xOojUtC5 pic.twitter.com/5WWlTflOcW
— EA SPORTS FC (@EASPORTSFC) September 17, 2023
"Dropping the FIFA name for EA allows you to have your own identity, because FIFA is linked to the international federation and to have this new identity is to start again on something even more global," said former player Laura Georges, ambassador of the game, at the big launch party organized in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo on September 21.
Players land in "Ultimate Team"
Since 2009, FIFA's most popular game mode - and the one that makes the most money in general for EA Sports - has been "Ultimate Team", the virtual card game that offers players the opportunity to build their dream team throughout the year. And to be able to play with it. What's new to EAFC24 is that women are coming to "UT" for the very first time, having been added to the game in 2015.
Six women's championships (France, Germany, Italy, England, USA and Spain) have been added in their entirety, and teams will now be able to be mixed, with players being evaluated on an equal footing (for example, the best player - Putellas - has the same rating as the best players - De Bruyne, Mbappé and Haaland - 91). This offers the possibility of linking players who play for the women's and men's sections of the same club (for example, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kylian Mbappé of PSG).
"Having the national teams and championships in the game is great," says Laura Georges. It's promotion for our football, it's consideration that we give to girls and there with the Ultimate mode, having the opportunity to have known players with known players in the same team is just an additional promotion. »
A change that was not necessarily gentle: a small part of the community, resistant to this change, massively railed against the integration of women in the game. The Norwegian Ada Hegerberg paid the price, sharing the insults she had received from a player visibly very unhappy with the performance of the card of the Lyonnaise in his team, his character was victim of bugs.
HypermotionV, Playstyles+: big words at the service of realism
As every year, the "gameplay" (the way the game is played) is improved at the margin, taking advantage of the performance of new generation consoles (Playstation 5, Xbox Series X). In addition to the overall improved graphics, with textures and renderings always prettier to see, two main innovations to note. The first, the introduction of "HypermotionV" technology, which replaced and perfected motion capture by analyzing and shooting movements and animations directly from matches that were played in real life. The ways in which the avatars of football stars move are, therefore, to simplify, all the more faithful to their true movements.
PlayStyles make all the difference in #FC24.
We've broken down the impacts of all outfield PlayStyles in our latest Pitch Notes, just in time for Early Access!https://t.co/1bxVDqSYmo pic.twitter.com/oZkoyAjPnC
— EA SPORTS FC Direct Communication (@EASFCDirect) September 21, 2023
Another way to refine the uniqueness of certain players is the introduction of "Playstyles" and "Playstyles+", traits that are found in the way some players play and that can greatly affect the way they perform a particular action or movement (a tackle, an interception, a shot in finesse or force, for example). 34 "Playstyles" are introduced in the game.
Eagerly awaited and demanded by the community, the ability to evolve yourself, by completing a number of objectives, the cards of our favorite players in "UT" is now possible via the "Evolutions" mode. Ultimate Team fans will also see five former glories of French football introduced as "Heroes" or "Icons" cards, which bring retired players back onto the field: Franck Ribéry, Ludovic Giuly and Bixente Lizarazu on the men's side, Sonia Bompastor and Camille Abily on the women's side. The other modes, such as the career mode and the "Pro Clubs" mode, have been modified rather marginally.