EA Sports and Marvel has announced a collaboration for FIFA 23‘s Ultimate Team, using comic book artists to create Ultimate Team Heroes – special cards featuring footballing greats rendered in the style of Marvel super heroes.
The collaboration is a weird one, let’s be honest, but a way for EA to mix things up for the yearly grind of opening randomised packs of digital player cards and trying to assemble the best football team possible from what you unlock. They’ve previously spiced things up with bringing in legendary players from yesteryear and special cards, but now they’ll have comic book stylings.
FUT Heroes will be a part of the game at launch, but this collab will emerge in time for the FIFA World Cup that will take place this December in Qatar, commemorating memorable careers of players. Each FIFA World Cup FUT Hero will then get a specially illustrated FUT item for players to try and snag.
There’s other vanity items in the game as well, with tifos, kits, balls and other cosmetics to earn, and in the real world there will be a Marvel comic book that’s all about the footballs and some other limited edition physical tie in items.
It’s also quite a strange one because EA is continuing to profit from an increasingly grey legal area on gambling-like systems and mechanics in video games, and in a darker shade of grey, how that impacts younger players of the games. While comic book fandom is certainly very broad these days and appeals to pretty much all ages, there’s also a heavy leaning toward children and young adults, just as there is for getting children to play sports from a young age.
FIFA Ultimate Team will be going under a big overhaul in FIFA 23 – the last FIFA game to be made by EA. There will be new game modes, such as FUT Moments that give smaller, bite-sized match challenges to take on, and the long-standing Chemistry system has been completely redesigned to give so much more flexibility when constructing teams.
Chemistry is now massively more simplistic, no longer relying on positional coherence and direct links to neighbouring players, but having shared clubs, leagues and nations all applied on a team-wide basis. Further to that, there’s now no negative effects to having poor Chemistry.
FIFA 23 will launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Stadia, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 30th, with early access for the Ultimate Edition on 27th September.