EA SPORTS has made a stand to remove content related to Russia from FIFA 22, though players have noticed the developers have not completed the job fully yet.
On March 2, just days after Russian military forces invaded Ukraine, Electronic Arts made a statement confirming that Russia would be taken out of its sports video games.
Both FIFA 22 and NHL 22 were impacted by the action, as the dev studios behind both series “initiated processes” to take out selected items. The publisher also stopped sales of FIFA and Apex Legends in the territory soon after. Five days later, an alert appeared in Ultimate Team stating that player items from Russian clubs, kit items, and related stadiums, as well as its national team, would be erased.
However, it appears that there’s still some way to go before it’s all gone.
FIFA 22 Russia content still appearing in-game
EA SPORTS holds an agreement for the licensing of the UEFA Champions League, meaning that the European competitions ran by the footballing body appear in their games.
This includes not just official logos and theme songs but also mirrors the sponsorships fans see when watching matches across Europe, in-game.
One of those is, of course, the Russia-based gas industry company Gazprom. UEFA ended its official partnership with the Russian majority state-owned multinational energy corporation on February 28, following the country’s military action against Ukraine.
While Russian teams and stadiums are now unusable in FIFA 22, it appears that developers haven’t yet got round to sponsorships, as Gazprom still features on electronic advertising boards.
Following some testing, it appears the boards only appear in Career Mode and have been removed from Kick-Off. Other sponsors include Pepsi Max, Hotels.com, and UEFA Foundation.
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In their previous statement, EA said: “EA SPORTS stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and like so many voices across the world of football, calls for peace and an end to the invasion of Ukraine.”
The message included a reference to “actively evaluating related changes to other areas” of their games, meaning it’s likely only a matter of time before Gazprom’s promotional material is ripped down.