Every year as we wait in anticipation for the next FIFA there is always going to be differences in opinion about what game mode needs more (or less) attention. But each year, there is a consistent theme that emerges for me... the severe lack of National Teams & National Competitions!
When I think of Football/Soccer, I think of the real game, and then my attention turns to FIFA. I want to take my love for the real game, and take that into a simulated environment where I can feel a part of the World Game enjoying all its excitement and glory.
So in anticipation of the new FIFA each year I might ask myself questions like... "What is FIFA going to include this year?"; "Is this going to be the year they include (this or that) in Career Mode?" (Note: Career Mode looking much improved this year).
But if there was one question I ask each year with bated breath, it is this one:
"Is this going to be the year that I truly see 'THE WORLD GAME', by way of the inclusion of the vast amount of National Teams from all across the globe that play this game consistently at the National level year in year out?"
The National Team presence each year to this date has fallen so far short of expectation that instead of riding the wave of excitement each year, I am quickly disappointed and feel short changed when I quickly scroll to see the list of National Teams.
This (FIFA) is supposed to be the best representation of The World Game. So where is the world representation?
Yes, I've heard it all before... licences are expensive. I get that, but so is this game, and each year millions of us pay top dollar but get what I feel is an 'INCOMPLETE' version due to its lack of National Team presence.
Unfortunately, it looks like FIFA 22 is going to be no different.
If FIFA wants to truly simulate the World Game that we love, the National Team (and Competitions) MUST be a priority, and be included in the game.
EA SPORTS/FIFA make enough money from us each year to make it happen.
I know there are issues here and there with negotiations between both parties who are employed to make the licensing agreement happen. But seriously, no matter the differences, these agreements need to be made for the sake of the game and the people who purchase it.
I think they (FIFA/EA SPORTS) are drastically underestimating the VALUE of including more National Teams. Not to mention that it's a common sense move.
"Why?" you ask.
Well, think about it. If you are a Football PLAYER or MANAGER/COACH in real life, doesn't it make sense to have your aim be to represent your country at the highest level, such as the World Cup, the EURO's, or the African Cup of Nations etc etc?
It doesn't make sense for FIFA ("It's in the game") to not give players (who purchase and play this game year in year out 'world wide') the chance to pull on a National Jersey to represent their country. It's the pinnacle of world football is it not?
To make a game where most people playing it can't even represent their country doesn't make sense to me, and is a real let down.
Let me say this, my country of origin IS in the game. But I am all about ALL nations being represented, especially from a Managerial point of view. What if I want to Manage the Nigerian Football Team to World Cup Glory? Or a Croatian Team? The list goes on. You can't do it in this game. A game that is supposed to represent the World Game.
At this stage, my count of National Teams in FIFA 22 is 32 (including a generic Brazilian Team), the majority of which are from Europe. I see ZERO teams from AFRICA. ZERO. With the other teams outside of Europe coming from Asia and the Americas.
This is NOT enough National Teams. We love all that's on offer in FIFA, but by not including more National Teams (and National Competitions) you've left the cream of the top of the cake (again)!!
I'm a person who believes that if you have a problem, you don't just whinge about it, you come up with a possible solution, so here's mine:
- Include (minimum) 4 National Team Slots which can all be filled and used in Career Mode as an option before we enter Career Mode.
- Allow us to create our National Teams Emblems/Jerseys etc (similar to creating a team in other game modes)
- Let us fill that National Team with players of our own choosing who's country of origin matches the created team's Country of Origin. For example: If I create a team from the enormous list of countries already available in the search portal of the game, and use that name, it registers, so when it comes time to select players, you are given the list of available players in the game that come from that country
- Re Commentary, make each country listed in the game a part of the commentary package, so that when you do play for, or manage a country e.g Senegal, the commentators will actually say Senegal.
With some outside the box thinking put to action, this idea, or something even better is possible!! Even for this year as an update to the game!!
Lastly, I'll say this... I agree that this is a first world problem. We need to remember to be grateful for what we have. BUT, when we invest the money we do, year after year in FIFA, we should expect better, I know I do.