July 13 – For the first time, EA sports are offering players the chance to play male and female football players in the same team, a change that is causing ripples in the gaming community.
The change comes following Electronic Arts (EA) sports’ separation from their partnership with FIFA. The most recent collaborative title, FIFA23, sold over ten million copies within the first week of release.
After a dispute in which FIFA wanted to double their license fee to more than $1billion, EA Sports severed the naming rights partnership and will launch the new version under the title EA FC 24. The change has allowed the studio to have more creative freedom.
Other than the title, the most notable change has been in the treatment of women’s football. In previous editions players were able to play as women’s teams, but only in kickoff modes and only against other women’s teams. There was no opportunity for crossover in the main game, bar the game’s freestyle mode ‘Volta’ and popular Pro Clubs section, where players can make and design custom characters of either sex.
Crucially, female players will now be added to Ultimate Team, the game’s most popular section, which is designed around opening packs using micro-transactions to improve the player’s team.
The change has sparked mixed reactions. On one side, long-time players have spoken out against the alteration, suggesting that it is unrealistic and disproportionate of the players abilities. Their argument is that the female players are not at the same level as their male counterparts, and should not be given similar ratings as they cannot realistically compete with the men.
The contrasting argument is that the women’s game deserves more recognition. The FIFA gaming series has been a big driver amongst younger age-groups to begin digesting football media. This is a first step in increasing the popularity and recognition of the women’s side of the game through the video game sector.
EA FC’s first game trailer was posted earlier this week, with the all-important and much-anticipated gameplay trailer releasing later this month. The video is expected to go into detail about how the gameplay will change with all the exciting and controversial new additions.
EA FC 24 is on track to release in September 2023.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1709091202labto1709091202ofdlr1709091202owedi1709091202sni@o1709091202fni1709091202