EA: FIFA 23 sets new franchise record for player count
Electronic Arts announced in an official press on October 12 that 10.3 million players had joined FIFA 23 across all platforms in the first week, breaking all previous franchise records. The figure represents a ten percent increase in players compared to the previous game’s player count for its first ten days.
EA Sports senior vice president and general manager Nick Wlodyka expressed his company’s delight at the historic occasion, saying, “The response from our fans has been nothing short of incredible, and we’re thrilled that our community is playing with their favorite players and teams across FIFA 23 in record numbers”.
Wlodyka also hinted at upcoming changes to the women’s roster and gameplay, saying, “With both the Men’s and Women’s World Cups and exciting updates to our women’s club football content in-game still yet to come, we’re just getting started on providing players with the most authentic and immersive experience yet”.
FIFA 23 has a broad scope of 19,000 players to choose from, 700 teams to play for, 100 stadiums to play in and 30 leagues to access. EA has confirmed that the game will also include FIFA World Cup-themed game modes which will be added as post-launch content and will be available to all players for free.
This massive achievement came just months after the announcement the company would be breaking away from the FIFA brand and releasing its own football game called “EA Sports FC” at the beginning of next year. According to reports, FIFA reportedly demanded $1 billion every four years just for the right to use the name.
“Our players want us to expand into the digital ecosystem more broadly […] our fans are telling us they want us to go and participate in that space. Our FIFA license has actually precluded us from doing a lot of this stuff,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said.
“Everything you love about our games will be part of EA Sports FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there,” said the developer.
FIFA 23 launch issues
Despite its success, the FIFA 23 launch was marred by a number of problems. Many of the negative reviews for the game are connected to an anti-cheat system intended to ensure fair play in online game modes. It was reported that the system would sometimes fail to verify itself properly, preventing the game from being launched.
EA has issued a statement acknowledging the problem and promised to resolve them, saying, “We are aware of the issues some PC players have experienced when launching FIFA 23, which are largely related to EA anti-cheat software”.
“We are actively working on a fix. We see and understand our PC community’s frustration, and we apologize”.
Players also complained that EA had neglected to add any new features to the game’s Nintendo Switch version. The FIFA 23 Legacy Edition for Nintendo Switch also lacks crossplay, which means that if players purchase the game for that platform, they will only be able to play against other Nintendo Switch users.
One of EA Sports’ notable mistakes was when they released a tradable Hero pack in the FIFA 23 Ultimate Team (FUT) Store for only 25,000 coins. Many players took advantage of this oversight by opening the Hero pack, claiming their FUT 23 Hero item, and selling the contents on the transfer window.