With FIFA 22, Electronic Arts has sent a clear message that free next-gen upgrades are over, and $69.99 is the new pricing of its mainline games.
FIFA 22 is the latest EA game to cost $69.99 on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, solidifying the publisher's move towards a more premium pricing scheme. Like Madden NFL 22 and Battlefield 2042, the annual soccer game won't have a free next-gen upgrade. Instead, gamers can get both the PS4 and PS5 version for $99.99, which has become par for the course ever since NBA 2K21's release.
Next-gen versions will also have exclusive features, modes, and content not available on PS4 or Xbox One to help justify the price hike. Battlefield 2042, for example, has a 128-player Conquest/Breakout mode that's exclusive to newer hardware, whereas PS4 and Xbox One are locked to 32v32 play. Madden NFL 22's new dynamic gameplay is also locked behind new systems, and FIFA 22's advanced machine learning-powered animations can only be utilized on PS5 and Series X/S thanks to their ML capabilities.
Three of EA's biggest games for Fiscal Year 2022 all cost $69.99 on next-gen consoles without any free upgrades for standard edition PS4 and Xbox One buyers:
This new pricing model will continue in the future, and should set the bar for all upcoming mainline games from EA. The publisher expects to make a record $7.3 billion in FY22 driven by these premium games as well as monetization and free-to-play mobile titles.
EA isn't the only publisher shifting away from free upgrades and to the $69.99 model--we've outlined our predictions on the future of console gaming here.
FIFA 22 releases on October 1, 2021 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Stadia.