As part of a glitzy Amsterdam announcement event, EA Sports rolled out the red carpet for footballing royalty, as it revealed EA Sports FC 24 with the help of Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, and Erling Haaland. The superstar Manchester City striker will be the global cover star of the game. Asked what he thought about the box art, from the game where he scored five goals against RB Leipzig, he said: “It’s not bad.”

This was the big relaunch for the juggernaut franchise following its rebranding from FIFA, and it was interesting to hear the development team refer to it as FC throughout the presentation. The two syllable shorthand feels like it’s probably going to stick at this point, so it’s probably fair to say the highly paid marketers at EA Sports have nailed this.

The publisher didn’t announce much during the stream, but it did reveal plans to form the “biggest club” on the planet. It aims to achieve this through a series of strategic partnerships, with PlayStation one of its allies. It’s also plotting a lot more than this year’s PS5 and PS4 game: its mobile version will be rebranded, for example, and it also has plans for a new turnbased tactical adaptation, too.

Erling Haaland EA Sports FC 24 Cover Star 1
A dreadlocked Erling Haaland showed up during the livestream in his pyjamas to confirm that he'll be the game's global cover star

EA Sports is also using the money it’s saved from splitting with FIFA on some big marketing projects: La Liga, for example, will be rebranded La Liga EA Sports moving forwards. And it’s expanding upon its efforts in the fast-growing women’s game, with two new leagues scheduled to join EA Sports FC: the Frauen-Bundesliga and La Liga F.

Perhaps most importantly of all, in a seismic change for the series, women players will be included in the pool of Ultimate Team players. This means that you’ll able to create multi-gender squads, making for the most varied team-building opportunities in the franchise’s history. You’ll be able to partner Virgil van Dijk with Leah Williamson in the heart of defence.

EA Sports says this is the most authentic game it’s ever made thanks to one technological innovation: HyperMotion V, an upgraded version of the machine learning-based animation system it’s had in previous games. Rather than record motion captured matches, it claims that it’s able to add animations from real-world professional games in “days”, with one of Haaland’s signature goals used as an example.

It’s also making improvements to the Frostbite Engine: the new EA Sports Sapien technology, also coming to Madden NFL 24, promises body animations ten times more realistic than in past games – and it’s making improvements to cloth physics and the overall matchday experience. All of this will be paired with Playstyles, a new system which sounds like it’ll give star players specific perks, similar to the Badges in NBA 2K.

More specific information about gameplay and modes is still to follow, but EA Sports did tease a new Evolutions system in Ultimate Team, which will enable you to develop the attributes of a player all season long by completing attributes, allowing you to stick with certain favourites rather than swap them out for newcomers with better statistics. You’ll even be able to improve the look and feel of their cards to enable a more personal attachment to them.

Meanwhile, Clubs – a rebranded version of Pro Teams – is getting same-generation crossplay, so PS5 owners will be able to match up with players on Xbox Series X|S and vice versa. And on the single player front, a new personality system based on the aforementioned Playstyles promises to improve the Player Career mode.

There’s obviously a lot more to announce here, but it’s clear EA Sports is confident in its rebranded football game. Is anyone betting against this being one of the biggest sellers of the year?