‘FIFA 18’ adds Russia World Cup content to game in free update

Every four years, soccer fans gather and cheer on their respective countries’ teams in the FIFA World Cup, and Electronic Arts has released a spinoff entry in its FIFA video game series to mark the occasion. This year, however, the publisher is taking a different approach, as FIFA 18 will be receiving a free update with FIFA World Cup Russia content.

Starting on May 29 — a few weeks before the real-life FIFA World Cup begins in Russia — FIFA 18 players will be able to download a free content update that includes access to 32 different competing countries’ teams, as well as 12 Russian stadiums.

You’ll be able to use the teams into a variety of modes, including “online friendlies” and “online tournament,” as well as a custom tournament option that allows you to play with any national team against “non-qualified nations” like the United States and Italy.

The popular FIFA 18 mode Ultimate Team will also receive special “dynamic player items” based on the World Cup, as well as famous players — called “Icons” — from throughout the World Cup’s history.

The update will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and even Nintendo Switch, so you’ll be able to play as your country’s national team while curled up in bed or just about anywhere else. And isn’t that what we truly want?

FIFA Soccer mobile players will be able to get in on the World Cup action on June 6 with their own update. The 32 qualified teams will be playable in the game, and with the game’s latest season, you’ll also have access to Icons to help flesh our your team. The base game is available for free on iOS and Android devices, and offers in-app purchases.

It’s refreshing to see Electronic Arts not forcing players to buy an entirely different game in order to enjoy FIFA World Cup content. It seems to reflect the publisher’s changing approach to its sports games as it potentially moves away from an annual release model. By providing free updates for the existing games and improving them over time, EA can keep its players together while eliminating the need to shell out $60 for a few small improvements each year.