After a three-decade-long relationship, the FIFA video game franchise has gone through a major rebranding. EA Sports FC 24 marks the end of the partnership with FIFA as soccer's governing body demanded an increase in the licensing fee. Additionally, EA questioned the value of partnering with an organization marred by scandals. With this divorce finalized, the franchise has embraced a new name and a fresh look.
One of the most noticeable changes is evident from the title screen of the game. The menus have been refreshed, replacing boxy tiles with a sleek white-on-black text format. The logo has also been redesigned, providing a new identity for the game.
While the differences might not be as apparent when actually playing a match, the gameplay itself feels remarkably improved compared to previous FIFA games. Passing has become crisper, especially with the new precision pass option, and players move with greater fluidity. The usual features found in sports games, such as HyperMotion V, SAPIEN player models, and an enhanced Frostbite engine, contribute to the game's realism.
Career Mode has received some tweaks as well, including new tactical philosophies for managers and the addition of agents for player careers. EA has also secured licensing deals with major club competitions, ensuring the presence of all clubs and players in the game. Another notable change is the implementation of PlayStyles, which grants players unique abilities based on their real-world counterparts.
Ultimate Team, EA's popular trading-card-inspired mode, returns with enhancements to provide a smoother experience for players. The inclusion of both men's and women's soccer brings more diversity to the game. However, some perceive these updates as a way to encourage players to purchase more loot boxes.
Despite the ongoing improvements, the challenge for EA lies in delivering significant changes year after year. The comparisons are often limited to the immediate predecessor, making it difficult to appreciate the gradual improvements made over time. However, the breakup with FIFA may have a lasting impact as EA now has the potential to partner with more companies and brands, allowing for direct-to-consumer sales of team jerseys and other products.
In conclusion, EA Sports FC 24 marks a new chapter for the FIFA franchise. With a fresh look and enhanced gameplay, the game aims to impress both longtime fans and newcomers. While the partnership with FIFA provided brand recognition and player licenses, the rebranding opens doors to new possibilities and revenue streams for EA Sports.
– The New York Times