EA Sports FC reveals cover with the most jankass footballer faces you've ever seen

A crop of the cover for EA Sports FC showing lots of footballers.
(Image credit: EA)

EA Sports is embarking on a huge re-branding exercise, with 2023 the first year it will release a football game without the FIFA imprimatur. The new-look EA Sports FC branding has been omnipresent at football matches and in coverage for a while now, but with EA ready to show off the game fans are finally getting a glimpse of what to expect. And it seems to be very bad faces. 

The cover for the EA Sports FC 24 ultimate edition has been revealed, featuring 30 football greats from the present and past, and wow does this thing go hard on the uncanny valley effect. Both male and female players are represented, various leagues and national teams, and the idea is clearly to show that, hey, this may have a new look but we've got all the stars of the game here.

Players mocking the faces of EA Sports FC players.

(Image credit: EA)

At first glance it might look alright, particularly as the focal point is Erling Haaland in the middle and EA seems to have done a decent job of his face. But look at the others a little closer and you'll soon see just how odd this all is. Pirlo (top right) looks absolutely shocked, Beckham looks like his Madam Tussauds Waxwork, Bukayo Saka looks nothing like himself, and the closer you look at each face the worse it all gets.

Some fans focused on the absence of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo, but it's the player likenesses that really got the ball rolling, with comparisons to older generation consoles like PS2, older versions of Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA, and EA's own The Sims series.

"They've managed to reasonably accurately recreate the faces of two dead guys, but they've got living footballers. to whom they've got access to facial scans of, that look like AI art," noted one fan. Oh well: it'll still sell millions of copies. The most frequent comparison that poor old Saka's getting is to CJ in San Andreas. If the ultimate edition actually ships with this cover, I'd be amazed, and you can zoom in on these jank faces to your heart's content on the official site.

The full list of players on the cover is:

  • Sam Kerr
  • Leah Williamson
  • Alex Scott
  • David Beckham
  • Alexia Putellas
  • Marta
  • Vinicius Jr
  • Federico Chiesa
  • Jude Bellingham
  • Trinity Rodman
  • Leicy Santos
  • Zinedine Zidane
  • Alex Popp
  • Son Heung-Min
  • Erling Haaland
  • Youssoufa Moukoko
  • Selma Bacha
  • Virgil van Dijk
  • Marcus Rashford
  • Johan Cruyff
  • Didier Drogba
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Ronaldinho
  • Victor Omishen
  • Juan Roman Riquelme
  • Enzo Ferdnandez
  • Alexander Isak

Finally, the cover reveal took all the attention for the obvious reasons, but EA's also released a pre-rendered teaser with an irritating voiceover. This is real "pass the sick bag" stuff about how 22 people kicking a ball around is a legendary human endeavour, but it does show that one of EA Sports FC's big things is going to be that mix-and-match of players old and new. EA will show off the game properly on July 13.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."