FIFA 23 and earlier games in the football series have all been removed from sale by EA, a few days ahead of the release of EA Sports FC 24, their rebranded sequel series.
Every game from FIFA 14 through to FIFA 23 is now no longer available to buy on digital storefronts across the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Nintendo eShop, Steam, the Epic Games Store and EA’s own store on PC. However, there are still the vestigial digital limbs of these games, with some microtransactions available for FIFA Ultimate Team.
FIFA 22 and FIFA 23 are both still available via EA Play subscription, and it should be noted that anyone that owns FIFA games digitally is still able to play. They have simply been removed from sale.
This was first spotted by not-Twitter user MauroNL. We can’t find an official statement on the matter – the Steam page notes that “At the request of the publisher, EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 is unlisted on the Steam store and will not appear in search.” – so it’s not entirely clear the specific reason for the game’s being pulled, but it’s clear that the end was coming.
The most likely reason for this is that EA’s agreement with FIFA for the last five years has got hard cut-off dates for their game distribution, albeit with a sunsetting period to cater for game subscriptions and post-sale microtransactions. There could also be clauses to prevent EA from selling a competing product at the same time as FIFA licensed games, forcing EA to remove the games from sale – we don’t know exactly when the games were delisted, so this could have occurred last week alongside FC 24’s early access launch.
EA announced in the middle of 2022 that they would be dropping the FIFA brand, having been unable to agree new terms for the license – reportedly FIFA wanted to double the yearly cost. That made FIFA 23 the final game in the long-running branding partnership, with EA planning to make some big changes for their successor series, EA Sports FC 24.
We’ve seen that in the form of Ultimate Team now allowing for mixed gender teams for the first time, a new visual identity to the game’s menus, and the latest evolution of EA’s football game on-pitch. Did they pull off a transformational new experience? Well, yes and no.
In our EA Sports FC 24 review, Aran said, “Sports FC 24 is not the complete departure from FIFA that its name would suggest. Most of the fundamentals remain in place and the career modes have barely been updated. Then again, Ultimate Team is the series’ real money-spinner, coming with the addition of evolutions and mixed gender teams. Overall, the on-pitch gameplay is good, and you can see the extra animations enhancing the football sim, but it isn’t a massive evolution of EA’s flagship series.”