The world's biggest football franchise will reportedly be free to play as of the release of FIFA 23 next year; however, FIFA 22 will still be the full retail price.
With the recent announcement that Pro Evolution Soccer would be rebranding as eFootball and changing into a free to play format, it appears as though FIFA will be following suit as of FIFA 23, likely to be released in September 2022.
The report comes from FIFA insider Donk, who releases news on Twitter concerning the EA Sports series. Donk not only reveals that FIFA 23 will be free to play but also that it will be cross-platform, meaning that players across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch may be able to compete together and likely share the same eco-system when it comes to FIFA Ultimate Team.
Why is FIFA going free to play?
The FIFA series has been a massive seller for EA for well over two decades, with the likes of FIFA 95 and 96 being console movers in the days of the Sega Megadrive. The most recent iteration, FIFA 21, was also a big mover for the company, and with it now being available on the EA Play subscription services, there's even more chance for people to get into the biggest football game on the planet.
EA can afford to look at a free-to-play model for FIFA 23 because the FIFA Ultimate Team series is still a huge money-making machine when it comes to micro-transactions.
Players buying FIFA Points to get packs has been a big reason that FIFA's YouTube community has grown year after year. The upselling of these micro-transactions have followed suit, meaning that EA can really boost their profits of packs and points if the base game is available to more players than ever without a barrier to entry (like a £59.99 base game price).
It remains to be seen if the rumour from Donk will gather any pace; however, it would make sense for EA to consider a free to play model as the series grows more as an eSport to compete with the likes of League of Legends, DOTA 2 and CS:GO.
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