EA and struggles to obtain FIFA licenses go together like EA and struggles to combat the Belgian anti-gambling laws. The publisher lost the rights to the FIFA name, but we still have the final game under the brand to look forward to. Was EA able to secure new leagues, teams, and stadiums for FIFA 23? Are we losing any previously available content? To both, the answer is yes.
FIFA is a game very dependent on its official licensing. Gamers want to play with their favorite players and teams, in the most legendary stadiums, for the most prestigious trophies. Now that we know EA has lost the rights to the FIFA name and FIFA 23 will be the final installment in the series, fans doubt other licensing issues may arise.
Those fears are not completely unfounded. Some content we’ve gotten used to in previous titles will be no more. No need to panic, though, there is enough fresh material to balance the scales. EA announced a bunch of new licensed FIFA 23 stadiums, leagues, and teams over the past few weeks to build the pre-release excitement. We can’t promise that you’ll be as excited as they want you to be—all we promise are the FIFA 23 licensing facts.
All new leagues coming to FIFA 23
FIFA 23 has three new leagues: the English Barclays Super League, the French D1 Arkema, and the Italian Serie BKT. The pleasant surprise is that two of those simultaneously hold the title of first-ever women’s club league featured in a FIFA video game.
The new men’s league we get is the Italian second division, which some fans aren’t as excited about as other leagues.
All new teams coming to FIFA 23
FIFA 23’s big license announcement was the return of Juventus, the most successful Serie A team, which was previously tied to an exclusivity deal with KONAMI. Now, free from that contract, Juventus and their Allianz Stadium are once again available to FIFA players.
The Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers have signed exclusive deals with EA, although their stadiums, Parkhead and Ibrox, will not be featured in the game. That rumor was fueled by Rangers’ marketing director James Bisgrove before he quickly retracted his initial statement that Ibrox was about to be scanned. There is no way to know whether he leaked information he shouldn’t have or misunderstood the deal he signed with EA. For now, at least, there will be no Ibrox nor Parkhead in FIFA 23, just face scans of Rangers and Celtic players.
All new stadiums coming to FIFA 23
FIFA 23 may not contain any Scottish grounds, but it still delivers a healthy amount of new stadiums:
- Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera
- PSV Eindhoven’s Philips Stadion
- Freiburg’s Europa-Park Stadion
- Osasuna’s El Sadar
- LA FC’s Banc of California Stadium
- Manchester City women’s Manchester City Academy Stadium
EA is giving the English Premier League the full metal stadium jacket once again. As is the norm in recent years, the stadiums of all 20 top flight clubs will be recreated in-game. EA will add Nottingham Forest’s City Ground sometime after launch at no cost, similar to how they added Leeds United’s Elland Road to FIFA 22.
All in all, the stadium representation keeps getting better through the years. While the EPL remains the only league where each team’s home ground has an authentic in-game licensed copy, there are over 20 stadiums in Spain and Germany. Other countries with at least one FIFA 23 licensed stadium are Italy, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, USA, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine.
FIFA 23’s licensed competitions
We’ll enjoy the full package of licensed international and continental club competitions in a FIFA game for the final time. The FIFA World Cup (men’s and women’s), UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Conference League, Super Cup, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, and Recopa are all part of FIFA 23 in their full glory. Enjoy before next year’s EA Sports FC World Cup takes over.
What’s missing in FIFA 23?
The Japanese J-League and the Mexican Liga BBVA MX are leaving the league roster for good. If we compare just men’s content, we get an exchange of two top-flight divisions for the Italian second tier. While some may argue it’s not the best deal, we can see why EA did it.
Juventus is back, but other core members of Serie A won’t be. Roma, Napoli, and Atalanta will be represented with generic names, kits, and crests. The silver lining is that their players will be real. There won’t be a Tobby Abrashazam in the game, for better or worse.
There’s no change to the Brazil situation from past years. We’ll have to settle for generic players at the club and international levels. It’s the reverse of what Roma, Napoli, and Atalanta will go through. Brazilian clubs and Brazil’s men’s and women’s national teams will have their authentic names, kits, and crests, but the player roster will be generic. We may see Mr. Abrashazam in FIFA 23 after all.
You definitely won’t be seeing Tobby Abrashazam, or Tammy Abraham for that matter, in any CONMEBOL competitions on the Nintendo Switch. The Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, as well as all the teams that are only available in these two categories, are exclusive to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. That’s been the case since EA first introduced the South American continental competitions back in FIFA 20.
That’s the current situation with FIFA 23 licenses. Overall, not too bad, especially in the context that FIFA itself won’t be FIFA anymore this time next year.
The FIFA 23 release date is Sept. 30, 2022. You can currently pre-order it and enjoy some bonuses, including early access. If you want to know more about FIFA 23 editions, what they bring to the table, and how much they cost, we just so happen to have the ultimate FIFA 23 pre-order guide set up for you.