You can no longer buy last year’s hit soccer game, FIFA 23. Nor any other older game from the famous Electronic Arts sports franchise. At least, not digitally.
The publisher has pulled every FIFA game that was previously for sale on the PlayStation 5, Xbox, Switch, Steam, and Epic Games storefronts. The move, first noticed by industry analyst MauroNL, comes ahead of the launch of EA Sports FC 24, the newest game in the series which was re-branded earlier this year after EA abandoned the FIFA licence amid ongoing renewal negotiations.
While some DLC packs for the games, which date back to FIFA 14 on modern platforms, are still available on the storefronts, the games themselves are either missing or don’t show an option to purchase. On Steam, where FIFA 23 has accrued over 100,000 user reviews and a rating of “mixed,” a notice reads: “At the request of the publisher, EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 is unlisted on the Steam store and will not appear in search.”
It’s not clear if the games will return at some point in a different form, or whether their removal will be permanent. EA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
FIFA games, and now EA Sports FC, come out every year with updated rosters but often minimal changes to the underlying modes and mechanics. EA Sports FC 24, which arrives September 29, currently has a 76 on Metacritic, with GamesRadar calling it the “most playable” version of the series in years, while Eurogamer called it “business as usual.”
Chief among the improvements is a streamlining of Ultimate Team, the series’ loot box mode where players collect packs of cards and then use them to construct hyper-talented all-star squads. According to GamesRadar, EA has improved the feel of the mode on the field, and added an “Evolution” feature for leveling up players’ skills, as well as mixed in star female players who were previously kept separately.
Ultimate Team is the real reason many players shell out for a new version of FIFA every year, abandoning the game they paid $70 for just 12 months prior. It’s also been supremely lucrative for EA, which rakes in more money from microtransactions than the sale of the new games themselves. Though apparently not enough to make the publisher want to pay the International Football Federation the $1 billion it was reportedly requesting to renew the FIFA brand.