And just like that, it was gone. EA appears to have delisted every FIFA game from every digital game store — including Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation — just two days ahead of the launch of the first game in its replacement franchise, EA Sports FC 24, on Sept. 29.
The delisting happened without warning, but was quickly spotted by players and confirmed by Polygon. On the Xbox Store, titles as early as FIFA 14 still have listings but are marked as “currently unavailable.” On Steam, a search for FIFA returns EA Sports FC 24 as the top result. FIFA 23 still has a product page on Steam, where 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.” (And there’s a buy button for EA Sports FC 24, naturally.)
However, it seems FIFA 22 and 23 are still available to play as part of an EA Play subscription, which is also included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. And of course, FIFA Points are still available to purchase across the stores, to be spent in the games’ Ultimate Team mode.
The games’ delisting is likely to be due to licensing issues. EA has parted ways with world football governing body FIFA after a 30-year partnership, and is now going it alone, rebranding its soccer series as EA Sports FC. The end of EA’s agreement with FIFA likely means that it has lost the right to sell even earlier games under the FIFA name.
Even if that is the case, EA won’t be too sad to be forced to remove the FIFA games from its catalog. The enormous popularity of the series makes rebranding it a challenge; removing all those FIFA games from search results, promoting EA Sports FC 24 to the top of searches, will be a useful tool in establishing the new name.
Polygon reached out to EA for comment on the FIFA games’ delisting, but did not receive an immediate response.
It will be interesting to see how the used game market responds. Annualized sports games usually lose their value very quickly after they are replaced by the latest version, but the complete unavailability of FIFA digitally may make these games the exception.