EA highlights clear demand for women’s players after 24 days of EA FC 24

To celebrate the first 24 days of new football title EA FC 24, publisher Electronic Arts has revealed the key facts and figures so far.

The key takeaway is that women’s players, added to Ultimate Team for the first time, have proven to be popular, and marks a significant marker the sports games industry as a whole.

This is the first year of the EA SPORTS FC [TM] franchise, which has followed on from the 30-year partnership between EA and FIFA for the FIFA game series. 

For the start of the era, EA has brought women into the game’s most popular mode, and only adds to the fast-growing exposure women’s football has received in recent years.

Straight from kick off

In the 24 days since worldwide launch on 29 September, there have been 1.6 billion games played. Football fans worldwide have scored a total of 4.1 billion goals in the world’s games, across 200+ nations.

Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM of EA SPORTS FC said: “This year is extra special as we celebrate not only the successful launch of this year’s game, but the start of the new era of EA SPORTS FC.

“EA FC 24 is just the beginning of our journey in building the fan-first future of football, and we look forward to continuing to build the world’s biggest football club, to engage, entertain and represent fans all over the world."

In Ultimate Team, France, England, Spain, Brazil and Germany have been the most represented nations in Ultimate Team Squads, with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 paving the path as the highest represented leagues.

In Career Mode Experiences, EA FC 24 has seen Kylian Mbappe become the most sought-after player in the transfer market, with Jesus Corona, Alphonso Davies, Jude Bellingham and Alejandro Garnacho rounding out the top five transfers.

Once goals have been scored, players can unleash their favourite celebration, with “knee slide” the most popular, following by “arms to the crowd” and “back slide”.

“EA FC 24 is just the beginning of our journey in building the fan-first future of football, and we look forward to continuing to build the world’s biggest football club, to engage, entertain and represent fans all over the world."

Nick Wlodyka, SBP & GM of EA SPORTS FC

A new way to play

Of course, the biggest new element of EA FC 24 is the addition of women to Ultimate Team. Players have built their ultimate dream squads and over 739 million women’s player items have taken to the pitch in Ultimate Team starting XIs in online play. 357 million Ultimate Team squads online have at least one women’s player in their starting XI.

On Ultimate Team, women’s players are available from the Women’s Super League (England), Liga F (Spain), Frauen-Bundesliga (Germany), National Women’s Soccer League (United States) and Division 1 Feminine (France) as well as other teams currently completing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

We have also seen the first ever women’s Icons added to the game in the form of US legend Mia Hamm, Japan World Cup winning captain Homare Sawa, French five-time Champions League winner Camille Abily and England star forward Kelly Smith.

They have been joined by some Women’s Heroes, representing league stalwarts from across Europe, with EA collaborating with Marvel to give these items the real superhero feel. “The Accomplished” Alex Scott is there for the Women’s Super League, “The Wolf” Nadine Kessler from the Frauen-Bundesliga as well as “Bombardier” Sonia Bompastor from Division 1 Feminine.

The top scorers for the women so far have been Chelsea’s Sam Kerr, Lyon forward Kadidiatou Diani, US co-captain Alex Morgan, rising star Trinity Rodman and former Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez leads the men’s top scoring, followed by Brighton wonderkid Ansu Fati, cover star Erling Haaland, RB Leipzig speedster Timo Werner and new PSG signing Randal Kolo Muani. 

FC Barcelona has been the most selected women’s football team within FC 24 alongside Chelsea, Arsenal and Lyon, whilst the most selected men’s team have been Real Madrid, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool.

The Top three most popular matchups for women all feature Women’s Champions League champions Barcelona – against WSL winners Chelsea, El Clasico rivals Real Madrid and women’s football powerhouse Lyon.

As for the men, the three most popular contests all feature the iconic Real Madrid, facing off against Barcelona, Treble-winning Manchester City, as well as fellow European heavyweight Bayern Munich.

New name, new potential

One other element that may have slipped under the radar, at least to those not playing the game, is the brand collaborations occurring in EA FC 24.

Towards the end of the FIFA series, we did see clothing collaborations with the likes of Adidas and Nike in Ultimate Team and Volta, as EA looked to compete with other games in terms of in-game cosmetics.

However, these items would have no influence on gameplay, and the despite the small-sided Volta mode having more customisation options, it’s not the game mode that the fans drive to.

Well, for the dawn of EA FC, EA has intelligently made launched collaborations that can really make a difference in Ultimate Team. We are still very early in FC 24’s cycle, but with releases from both Nike and Pepsi already, fans are very excited as to what is to come.

Nike worked with EA on the Mad Ready promo, the first ever promo to launch before the official release of the game. This gave players an incentive to pre-order the game, play early access and get a head start in Ultimate Team with Nike-themed items and players.

UEFA Champions League sponsors Pepsi have also joined the fun, with the first-ever co-marketing campaign for EA’s football title. Fans who buy a 500ml bottle of Pepsi can use the unique code found on the underside of the bottle sleeve to redeem some in-game EA FC 24 items.

A range of items are on offer, from kits to stadium items, and with the likes of Heung-min Son, Vinicius Jr and Leah Williamson all currently partnered with Pepsi, don’t be surprised to see player items for those stars to appear, especially as the Champions league rolls on.

With still 11 months to go in FC 24’s cycle, there’s plenty of time for more brands to join the party, and come up with creative ways to associate themselves with one of the most popular games on the planet.

Beyond the Match
The SPORTFIVE Magazine

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