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Why is FIFA 22 Free on PS4?

FIFA 22 was available as a free download on PlayStation 4 for all PlayStation Plus subscribers during May 2022 as part of Sony‘s monthly free games lineup. This gave PS4 owners with an active PS Plus membership the opportunity to download and play the full version of FIFA 22 at no additional cost for that month.

PlayStation Plus Free Monthly Games

As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I‘m sure you know PlayStation Plus is Sony‘s premium subscription service that lets PlayStation users play online multiplayer on PS4 and PS5. One of the best perks of a PS Plus membership, in my opinion, is getting free games every month that you can download and play as long as you stay subscribed.

Sony usually offers 2-3 free games across PS4, PS5, and PSVR. In May 2022, the free PlayStation Plus games were FIFA 22 (PS4 version), Tribes of Midgard (PS4 & PS5), and Curse of the Dead Gods (PS4 & PS5). By adding these games to your library during May, you could download and play them on your PlayStation consoles at no extra cost.

Number of Downloads

While exact download numbers aren‘t available, industry analysts estimate FIFA 22 was downloaded and played by 5-10 million PlayStation Plus subscribers during its free month according to comments made by EA‘s CEO. So the free promotion exposed the game to a ton of new players!

Why Make FIFA 22 Free?

Offering a hugely popular sports franchise like FIFA for free is a smart strategic move by Sony. The FIFA games have a massive following, so making the latest release free for a month generates excitement and buzz around the PlayStation Plus service. It also incentivizes new subscribers to sign up so they can get in on the free FIFA action.

For Electronic Arts, the developers behind the FIFA series, it builds goodwill and exposes their game to millions of new gamers who may end up buying future releases. So it‘s a win-win for both Sony and EA. This cross-promotion helps drive interest in FIFA, PlayStation Plus, and overall engagement with both brands.

Past Examples

While this was the first time a flagship FIFA console game has been offered for free, Sony has provided free access to older FIFA titles through the "PlayStation Plus Collection" which gives members a selection of classic PS4 games to play on PS5.

Some other major franchises Sony has given away free monthly include Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront, Uncharted, and Fallout 4.

What You Get with Free FIFA 22 on PS4

By downloading FIFA 22 during May 2022 as a PlayStation Plus member, you got the full base game playable on your PS4. This gave access to all the main modes including:

  • Ultimate Team – Build your ultimate dream squad by collecting player cards and compete against others online. This is the most popular mode where you can spend real money on microtransactions for card packs.
  • Career Mode – Control your favorite club as both manager and players through multiple seasons. Sign talent, make transfers, and win trophies.
  • VOLTA Football – Small-sided street football matches played in unique venues. Takes the gameplay back to the nostalgic street soccer roots.
  • Pro Clubs – Team up online with friends and control a single player as you take your club to the top of the leaderboards.
  • Online Seasons – Face off 1v1 against others online and lead your favorite real-world club teams to victory.

You got the complete FIFA 22 gameplay experience on your PS4 at no extra cost for the month. Allowing all PlayStation Plus subscribers to enjoy the latest FIFA release for free.

Key Gameplay Features

Some of the key gameplay features and upgrades FIFA 22 brought included:

  • HyperMotion technology – Uses advanced motion capture for more realistic player movements and animations.
  • Machine learning – AI players make smarter decisions and more human-like plays.
  • Composed ball control – More realistic trapping and ball control moves.
  • New goalkeeper mechanics – Keepers behave more like their real-life counterparts.
  • Tactical innovations – New ways to customize game plans and strategies.

How Often Does FIFA Go Free?

While PlayStation has offered limited trials and discounts for FIFA titles in the past, FIFA 22 was the first time a major annual FIFA release was available completely for free through PS Plus monthly games.

Given the popularity of the FIFA franchise, I wouldn‘t expect the latest installments to be given away every year. However, based on patterns with other big franchises, we could potentially see FIFA offered for free every 2-3 years moving forward. This would help drive PlayStation Plus subscriptions and engagement during slower periods.

For now, FIFA fans will have to wait and see if FIFA 23 makes a free appearance as a monthly PlayStation Plus game during its release cycle. We‘ll keep an eye out!

The Future of FIFA

An interesting side note about the future of FIFA – EA recently lost the exclusive rights to the FIFA name, so FIFA 23 will be the last entry under that branding. Future soccer games will be under the EA Sports FC brand. So the franchise is entering a new era!