FIFA 23 is just around the corner, with a tentative release date reportedly set for the brand new game.
With that in mind, we want to take a look at one of FIFA's most disappointing modes, Career Mode.
Despite being vastly popular amongst players, Career Mode usually gets swept to one side in favour of the money-making Ultimate Team.
We want to see that change and believe that looking to Football Manager could be the answer that EAs looking for.
Lessons From FM
In terms of an immersive management experience with all bells and whistles, Football Manager sits head and shoulders above Career Mode.
Whilst EA have other modes to ponder, the level that FM has provided over the past few years should be an immediate lesson heading into FIFA 23.
One of Football Manager 2022's biggest strong points was its continued build on immersion and player experience, something that has felt left behind by EA in recent FIFA instalments.
Instead of adding in meaningless cut-scenes and different transfer mechanics, we'd like to see EA take a leaf out of the Sports Interactive playbook and assess how player immersion could lead to easy wins amongst fans.
In the Hot Seat
Football Manager always does a sensational job of making you feel the weight of responsibility posed upon a football manager.
Career Mode, on the other hand, does tend to make you feel like its only the games that matter.
Of course, transfer dealings are always fun, but other elements such as training, building infrastructure and performing media duties either feel laborious or absent entirely.
EA should be focussing on how small inclusions can provide major overall differences in FIFA 23, with things like brand deals, deeper contract negotiations and a better training system all fundamental to taking Career Mode forward.
Youth development is also something that feels tired in FIFA, with recruitment and training once again feeling like a nuisance.
Gameplay will always be FIFA's strongest lure, but creating a deeper overall experience is vital to keeping players engaged.
In Football Manager 2022, Sports Interactive introduced the Data Hub, a space where managers could assess all of their team's data and make tactical decisions based off real stats.
We'd like to see something similar introduced in FIFA 23, reflecting the growing focus on data in real-world football.
Being able to see an in-depth breakdown of your team's performances would be a great little feature that would add to the overall experience.
The same can be said for training, with EA desperately needing to find a way to make the small features feel essential to creating a successful managerial career.
The Next Level
EA has shown a level of care towards Career Mode in the past few years, but it hasn't been enough to transform the managerial mode.
With next-gen hardware providing endless possibilities, we feel that Career Mode should be light-years ahead of where it is now.
Right now, Career Mode feels like a dressed-up version of kick-off, with a few small influences on your team.
In order to make Career Mode feel special in FIFA 23, we'd like to see EA look at the Football Manager model and focus on how the smallest elements can make the biggest difference.
Heightened gameplay and flashy new UIs are fine for five minutes, but it's the focus on the finer details that will keep people hooked for many months.