FIFA 23 Realism Is Such That Thousands Watched a YouTube Match Thinking It Was the World Cup

Alessio Palumbo

FIFA 23, the latest iteration of the officially licensed football game, was used in a scam stream that tricked dozens of thousands of Vietnamese viewers into thinking they were actually watching a World Cup match.

The news comes from Vietnamese website VNExpress, which collected testimonies from some of the viewers. One particularly egregious example occurred during Germany vs. Japan, the Group E match played on Wednesday, November 23rd, ended 2-1 for the Japanese team. Part of the trick obviously required that the content creator change the regular game speed to meet real-life matches (that is to say, 90 minutes).

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Of course, after a while, some viewers did notice it was FIFA 23 rather than live footage from the World Cup and tried to warn others in the comments section. However, not everyone reads comments, especially if they are watching on mobile devices. As such, the so-called content creator could likely have racked in quite the sum in monetization. At the same time, there's a strong chance the video was reported to YouTube moderation due to violating its policies.

It's not the first time a game is mistaken for real-life footage. Earlier this year, for example, Bloomberg reported that videos of military simulator ARMA 3 were being passed off as footage of real-life fights from Ukraine. Of course, the mere fact that these games can be mistaken to be real speaks to their level of authenticity.

FIFA 23 is the last FIFA-licensed football game to be developed by EA Sports. In early 2022, Electronic Arts confirmed that it did not renew its licensing deal with FIFA. EA will instead pursue its own football brand called EA Sports FC. Despite losing the FIFA license, EA's game will still feature 300+ individual licensed partners, bringing licenses for 19,000+ athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and 30+ leagues globally.

FIFA 23 registered record-breaking figures as over 10.3 million players downloaded and played the football game during its launch week.

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