We know that FC 24 is basically just another FIFA game from EA Sports, but the developer’s transition to new branding after EA Sports’ licensing deal with the soccer organization ended was still risky. The fact that a lot of us still refer to FC 24 as “FIFA” says a lot about the strength of the brand EA had cultivated over the last couple of decades. However, new reports on the FC 24 player count after the first month actually suggests the soccer game series is growing.
It might not be perfect, but EA Sports’ FC 24 is one of the best soccer games of all time and easily one of the best sports games available on PS5 and Xbox at the moment. Graphically, it’s stunning, and new features like FC 24 Ultimate Team Evolutions and FC 24 Career Mode player agents improve upon the strong foundations established by FIFA 23, FIFA 22, and the rest of the series. Although, as alluded to above, that “FIFA” brand holds a lot of weight. We imagine most people think of the game series first, when they hear the term, not the soccer organization. So, switching this for something as generic as “FC” was always going to lead to a drop-off in players, right?
Well, that’s actually not been the case at all – which is a testament to EA Sports’ market dominance when it comes to soccer games. As news outlet GamesIndustry.biz reports, during a Q2 FY2023 earnings call, EA Sports CFO Stuart Canfield says “within the first four weeks after worldwide launch, over 14.5 million fans have played FC 24 on console and premium PC”. That’s an impressive number in and of itself, but even more impressive when you think about the fact that this is technically a new IP.
Canfield goes on to share that this figure includes “double-digit growth in new players” – percentage-wise, we’re assuming, and not ‘more than ten, less than 100’ – and describes this as a “huge achievement for EA”. Whatever you think about the developer, he’s not wrong about that. This, Canfield adds, should lead to “low single-digit growth” for the series this year – which, when you think about it, is a decent result.
Following on from this, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson adds that – due to the fact that EA Sports “supported the live services [for FIFA 23] right up until the new launch” – the developer is now “working very deliberately and diligently to bring those over to FC and continue to grow the base of FC on a go-forward basis”.
That, we suppose, is EA Sports’ main struggle – especially when the next FC title rolls around in 2024. The amount of time players are already spending getting the best FC 24 strikers and best FC 24 wingers – just as an example – is staggering. When the next game arrives and everyone has FC 24 Icons and FC 24 Heroes in their squads too, it’s going to be hard to just let that all go and start fresh – like every year. There are usually some rewards for returning players, but they’re hardly worth the sacrifice, when you think about the value of them compared to the squad you’re leaving behind. The fact that EA Sports is largely relying on updated squads – something you can change yourself for offline modes – and a handful of new features to encourage players to buy the next title surely can’t be sustainable forever.
However, new FC 24 ratings aside, this soccer game is one of the biggest improvements we’ve seen from the series so far – when you think about new features and expanded content, anyway. So, while we’re not sure this will be the case consistently going forward, this has to be taken as a good sign. With any luck, we should see more dramatic improvements between titles moving forward. But, as with everything, only time will tell.
For those 14.5 million (or more) of you getting stuck into FC 24 already, you’ll be pleased to know that you can get four Gold Rare FC 24 players for free right now – but you’ll need to be quick. You can also check you’re using the best FC 24 settings here and read up on all the best FC 24 formations right here ahead of your next Division Rivals – or FUT Champs – game.