The FIFA games are being wiped from memory as EA delists its back catalogue
As EA loses the licence for FIFA it’s started the process of delisting all its previous football games from online stores.
It happens all the time with things like racing games and licensed movie characters, but because EA no longer has the FIFA licence it’s not allowed to sell its FIFA games anymore.
As a result, it’s started taking down digital versions of the game from online stores, leaving behind only DLC and microtransactions and this year’s EA Sports FC 24.
That means that very soon the only way to play FIFA 23 and previous titles will be via a physical copy or a digital edition you bought earlier.
If you do have a digital copy you’ll be able to redownload it whenever you want, it’s just that no one will be able to buy the game new online from now on.
EA ditched the FIFA licence in favour of the new EA Sports FC series, which is the broadly the same game but without the FIFA name.
This all happened because FIFA increased the price for using its name to a reported $1 billion, which EA refused to pay. Although in the end, by not using it, all they missed out on was the name and the ability to feature the World Cup.
The process of removal has only just started, with a message on Steam reading: ‘At the request of the publisher, EA Sports FIFA 23 is unlisted on the Steam store and will not appear in search.’
However, as of time of writing, FIFA 23 is still available via EA Play and is still advertised on EA’s website, including links to online stores that no longer work.
Although relatively few people play older sports games, once a new one is released, this is yet another example of the poor state of video game preservation.
One of the world’s most popular franchises is now impossible to buy new, except via whatever old stock physical stores may have left.
EA Sports FC 24 launches for all formats on September 29 but is already available to play in early access if you buy the more expensive Ultimate Edition. A 10 hour trial is also available via EA Play.
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