Now that EA and FIFA have officially separated, we’re getting details about both of their soccer video game futures. EA has its upcoming simulation EA Sports FC, while FIFA just launched a mobile game called AI League. It’s available now on Android in open beta (an iOS version is listed as “coming soon”).
Developed by game studio Altered State Machine, AI League is described as a “4-on-4 casual football game, played between AI-controlled characters, with player input at fun and tactical moments. Players act as the coach and owner of their AI teams, with each AI footballer given unique AI traits that define their strengths and weaknesses. Players are able to collect and trade characters to create a team with their favorite talent combinations.”
Curiously, the game is branded with the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar, which happened last year, instead of the 2023 women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which kicks off this summer.
AI League was previously announced as part of a slate of Web3 experiences from FIFA to lead its post-EA future.
2023 is shaping up to be an interesting year for soccer games. Last year’s FIFA 23 was the final title to launch as part of the longtime collaboration between FIFA and EA Sports, and since then, EA has been gearing up for this year’s debut of EA Sports FC.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who is infamous for making questionable statements, has struck a defiant tone about FIFA’s video game prospects without EA. Last May, when EA Sports FC was officially unveiled, he said in a statement, “I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on — the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.”
While so far only more casual titles with buzzy blockchain elements have been announced, FIFA said last year that it “is currently engaging with leading game publishers, media companies, and investors in regard to the development of a major new FIFA simulation football game title for 2024.”
Last month, Infantino said, “The new FIFA game - the FIFA 25, 26, 27 and so on - will always be the best egame for any girl or boy, we will have news on this very soon.”