With EA Sports FC 24, the first game in Electronic Arts' post-FIFA world, just a few days from launch, last year's FIFA 23, and all other games in the FIFA series, have been removed from sale on Steam, Epic, and other digital storefronts.
Electronic Arts pulled the plug on the FIFA series in 2022 after negotiations with the Fédération internationale de football association, as it's formally known, fell through. The problem, unsurprisingly, was money: Specifically, FIFA wanted more money, and EA didn't want to pay it. Instead, it decided to rebrand as EA Sports FC, the game you know and love but without the costly title.
But just ahead of EA Sports FC 24's launch on September 29, industry analyst MauroNL (via Kotaku) noticed that every game in the series, from FIFA 14 to FIFA 23, had been removed from sale. And he is correct: No FIFA games appear in a search on Steam, for instance, and while the FIFA 23 store page is still directly accessible, there's no option to purchase it.
The situation is virtually the same on the Epic Games Store, where the page is still active (and shows in search results) but is unavailable for purchase. It's also true for console versions: The store pages are still up at xbox.com and the PlayStation Store, but the game cannot be purchased.
EA hasn't yet commented on the removal of the games, but despite initial impressions, it doesn't appear to be a mass purge. FIFA is a massively successful annualized franchise, and as Ars Technica notes, older games in the series have been delisted on a semi-regular cadence following the release of newer editions.
SteamDB indicates that FIFA 22 was "retired" from Steam in May 2023, for instance, while FIFA 21 got the axe in June 2022. What makes the FIFA 23 removal different is the timing: The previous games in the series were all removed from sale several months after the release of their successors, while FIFA 23 has been disappeared before EA Sports FC 24 is even out. (People who preordered the Ultimate Edition of the game could begin playing on September 22.)
It's not known at this point whether EA pulled FIFA 23 to avoid cannibalizing EA Sports FC 24 sales, or if it was forced to do so under the terms of the defunct licensing deal with the FIFA organization. Whatever the reason, there is still one way to access the newer games in the series: FIFA 22 and 23 remain available through EA Play subscriptions. I've reached out to Electronic Arts for more information and will update if I receive a reply.