FIFA 23 is set for its usual September launch and EA Sports has teased fans with news of a free mode for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which will also include the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The worldwide release date for the latest iteration of the popular game is 30th September for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC and Stadia, while the free post-launch World Cup updates are set to follow as the 2022 World Cup approaches.

The World Cup update will be available on all versions of the game. It will feature the 32 national sides who have qualified for the tournament, along with the eight official Qatari stadiums and official match balls.

The decision to release the free World Cup update makes perfect business sense with football more popular than ever. An estimated five billion people around the world are set to watch the 2022 World Cup. So, it is no surprise to see other areas of the entertainment industry capitalising on this popularity. The iGaming industry features games from various sports among the many thrilling casino slots on offer, but as you would expect, football slots are amongst the most popular with titles such as Knockout Football, Euro Golden Cup and World Cup Football.

The latest FIFA innovations

The game will also feature cross-play functionality after successful lobbying by FIFA fan groups. Other innovations include Hypermotion 2 technology, a shooting mechanic, which gives players the option of risk versus reward and refreshed set pieces. Career mode will provide the most authentic experience yet with the opportunity to define your player personality and enjoy Playable Highlights as a manager.

For the first time, FIFA 23 will give players the opportunity to play the game as a women’s club team from the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and France’s Division 1 Arkema. This innovation is celebrated on the game cover which features French international forward Kylian Mbappé and Sam Kerr, the Australian striker who plays for Chelsea in the FA Women’s Super League. The cover makes history as Kerr is the first woman to feature on the FIFA video game cover since the game was launched in 1993.

The end of an era

FIFA 23 will be the final game in the highly successful partnership between EA Sports and FIFA. The sports video game developer decided not to renew its licensing deal with FIFA after the international governing body of association football reportedly wanted to double the annual licencing fee.

From next year, all games will be branded as EA Sports FC. Fortunately, EA Sports has maintained exclusive partnerships with the major European leagues such as the Premier League, Serie A and the Bundesliga, along with Major League Soccer in the United States.

FIFA 23 is ensuring that the video game franchise as we know it goes out with a bang thanks to a wealth of innovations and the news that both the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and next year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be available as a free update. While there will be some changes to future versions, the game franchise is likely to go from strength to strength, even without FIFA’s involvement.