The EA Sports video game franchise has developed into one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, with over $20 billion in game sales alone, plus the premium FIFA Ultimate Team game mode, which is valued at around $1.2 billion annually.
In May, EA Sports and FIFA announced the end of their 20-year partnership.
Although this does not definitely mean the end of the game, it does feel like the end of an era.
And, following the first weekend, user reviews on Metacritic suggest that it may be time for both EA Sports and FIFA to move on to new ventures in the football gaming world.
While the reviewer reviews were generally positive, with a rating of 77, the user reviews were nothing short of a disaster, with a rating of 2.3.
One big issue is that the game is scripted, preventing games from becoming too one-sided, something EA Sports has denied for years but is a popular complaint among gamers.
The goalkeepers’ and players’ failure to respond to direction is said to be evidence of this.
Another concern is the promotion of gambling, with loot boxes coming under fire.
Other negative reviews claim that the brand has gotten complacent, just updating the previous edition by replacing 23 with 22, with one even going so far as to compare it to FIFA 14 with current players.
The game’s presentation has also been criticised, with complaints about the game stuttering and that switching to full-screen can render the game unplayable.
Technical issues include in-game replacements being too difficult to make, with users complained about conceding goals as they swapped teams.
Several reviews have called it the worst game in the franchise’s history, with one user saying “same game, new problems” after reportedly playing the game for over 20 hours.
The game’s levels have been criticised, with some arguing that semi-professional is too easy, professional is uninteresting, and world class is too demanding, with the developers failing to create a challenging but fascinating difficulty mode.
There are some encouraging comments, but they are in the minority.
In the future, EA Sports intends to release EA Sports FC. Apart from the nomenclature, the new version is believed to be very similar to the previous one.
While the FIFA brand has been removed from the game, EA Sports has separate agreements with 300 teams and leagues throughout the world, allowing the player names, clubs, and competitions to remain in-game after the transition.
FIFA, meanwhile, could create their own video games with other developers and partners.