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Was FIFA 22 Free? Here‘s the Lowdown on PS Plus and FIFA

Hey there – if you‘re a PlayStation owner and soccer fan, you may have heard that FIFA 22 was available for free for a limited time on PS Plus. But you‘re probably wondering – wait, it‘s a full $60 game, how could it be free?

Well, it‘s true – FIFA 22 was redeemable at no cost on PlayStation Plus during the month of May 2022. Pretty sweet deal! However, the promotion was only temporary and has ended.

In this post, let‘s dig into the details on how and why Sony offered FIFA for free, what you got with the PS Plus version, and when FIFA 23 will be out next. Time to take a deep dive into the world of virtual soccer and subscriptions!

Why Was This a Big Deal? FIFA is a Massive Franchise

In the gaming world, FIFA is basically synonymous with soccer/football video games. Since its first release in 1993, the FIFA series has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar sports gaming juggernaut for publisher EA.

Some mind-blowing stats on the FIFA franchise:

  • As of 2021, over 325 million copies sold worldwide across its lifetime

  • FIFA games earn over $1 billion annually for EA in net revenue

  • FIFA 20 (2019 release) sold over 10 million units, generating over $1.4 billion

  • FIFA 22 sold over 10.3 million copies in its launch quarter

  • There are over 150 million active FIFA players globally

As you can see, FIFA is a very big deal and immensely popular especially with sports gamers. So the opportunity to download FIFA 22 for free got a lot of buzz and attention in the PlayStation community.

The Marketing Genius of Free-to-Play

So why did EA and Sony decide to offer one of the biggest games of the year at no cost temporarily? It‘s actually a savvy marketing tactic.

While the publishers don‘t get revenue from the base game itself during the free promotion, the player gets hooked on the addictive, fun FIFA gameplay. This makes them more inclined to spend money within the game on FIFA Points and card packs to improve their Ultimate Team.

According to market research firm NPD Group, 51% of FIFA players engage with Ultimate Team mode. And Ultimate Team drives the bulk of FIFA‘s astronomical revenue through microtransactions.

So giving the core game away for free helps converts players to spenders once invested in the compelling Ultimate Team "card collecting" loop. It‘s a clever way to acquire and monetize players at scale.

What Players Got with the Free PS Plus Version

Now you may be wondering – did players get the full FIFA 22 experience with the free PS Plus version or was it stripped down?

The good news is that PS Plus members got the complete, full-featured FIFA 22 base game at no additional charge:

  • All of the gameplay modes like Career Mode, Pro Clubs, Volta Football etc
  • Access to online multiplayer and co-op seasons
  • All original teams, leagues, and over 17,000 players
  • Could play on both PS4 and PS5 with cross-gen dual entitlement

The only limitation was time – players could only redeem and play the free FIFA 22 from May 3 to May 31, 2022 on PS Plus.

Of course, PS Plus subscribers can keep playing their free copy even now as long as their membership is active. But new members can no longer claim the offer.

The Evolution of PlayStation Plus

To really understand the significance of the FIFA 22 promotion, it helps to know how the PlayStation Plus service has expanded over the years since launching in 2010:

YearMajor Changes
2010PS Plus introduced as a paid subscription
2014PlayStation Plus required for online multiplayer on PS4
2019Monthly free games increased from 2 to 3
2022Revamped to 3-tier model, including game catalog

As you can see from the timeline, PS Plus has evolved from a nice-to-have bonus to a must-have essential service for many PlayStation gamers today due to its online multiplayer access and free monthly games.

Offering big name titles like FIFA 22 helps attract new subscribers and provides incredible value vs just buying the games outright.

It‘s a win-win – Sony locks in recurring subscriber revenue and players get access to more games for a low monthly fee.

How PlayStation Stacks Up to Xbox Game Pass

It‘s impossible to discuss gaming subscriptions nowadays without comparing PlayStation Plus to Xbox Game Pass.

At a high level, here‘s how the major subscriptions from Sony and Microsoft stack up when it comes to FIFA:

ServiceFIFA 22?All EA Games?Other PerksPrice
PS Plus Essential✅ (May 2022)2 monthly games, online play, discounts$9.99/month
PS Plus Extra✅ (EA Play)Game catalog, downloads$14.99/month
Xbox Game Pass✅ (EA Play)Game catalog, downloads$9.99/month

While Xbox Game Pass included FIFA 22 via EA Play earlier, the PlayStation Plus FIFA 22 promotion was still a great value and remains a standout freebie.

However, PS Plus Extra/Premium now match Xbox by including ongoing access to EA titles like Madden, Battlefield, and FIFA via EA Play. So there is strong parity on the EA front specifically.

But industry analysts agree Xbox Game Pass still provides the most value overall with its day-one access to first-party games from Xbox Game Studios. PlayStation can‘t match that level of premium content – yet.

FIFA 23 Is on the Horizon

With the free PS Plus promotion period for FIFA 22 now over, fans are looking ahead to FIFA 23, set to launch in late 2022. So what can gamers expect on the upcoming installment?

For FIFA 23, EA Sports is making some exciting improvements:

  • Enhanced gameplay – New shooting mechanics, dribbling overhauls, better tackles/interceptions

  • Women‘s club football – Play as women‘s teams from the Barclays FA Women‘s Super League and Division 1 Arkema

  • Cross-play – For 1v1 game modes, play against friends on any platform

  • World Cup modes – Authentic Qatar tournament experiences for men‘s and women‘s cups

While pricing hasn‘t been announced yet, FIFA 23 will likely retail around $59.99 for the base version, similar to FIFA 22.

And based on the past year, EA will probably add FIFA 23 to the EA Play subscription within 6-12 months after launch. That means PS Plus Extra/Premium members will eventually get access to the latest soccer game at no extra cost.

But will FIFA 23 end up as a free PlayStation Plus monthly game like FIFA 22 did? We‘ll have to wait and see – Sony hasn‘t tipped their hand just yet.

Either way, there are lots of great ways for PlayStation owners to get their hands on FIFA 23 when it arrives later this year. Time to start practicing those soccer skills!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.