A video game or an obsession, FIFA football video game
I spend some pocket money on FIFA 15 Coins every week, a game currency in FIFA 15, which is the most popular football simulation game in the world. EA Arts has launched this game, a videogame giant, who are successfully creating American sports games.
At the tender age of 11, in 1993, I can remember playing a lot of football games on the Commodore Amiga and Sega Mega Drive. These basically were side scrolling screens on a bed of green, which I practised on for a few hours and learned where the “sweet spot” was for scoring goals and then invited my mates over for a game and subsequently battered them all at least nine nil. They weren’t best pleased.
Kick Off had it, John Barnes European Football had it, even “Sensi World of Soccer,” an institution in it’s own right, had one or two places on the pitch that you could always score from.
Meanwhile, a Canadian arm of the game brand Electronic Arts, known as EA Sports, who were successfully creating American sports games like Ice Hockey and American Football for consoles, had announced that they were to create a football game which would hold an official license from FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, and it would be named EA Soccer whilst in development.
In 1998 the World Cup was held in France,and to commemorate this fact, our friends at EA decided to make that years version of FIFA a full on World Cup special. It had a Road to the World Cup mode, it had graphics that were head and shoulders above anything on the market at the time, it had 16 stadiums, it also had its own soundtrack from music of that era, including 90’s stalwarts Blur, with the rocking Song 2 opening the game. Battles between friends on this version became much more technical, as the “overhead-kick” and the “side scissor-kick” were much easier to execute and everyone wanted to score the perfect goal.
Time never stopped, and neither did the output of the FIFA series and a new version has been released every year up until the present day, and the recent version, FIFA 15, still sits at number three in the games chart. It’s big bucks now for the geniuses at EA Sports Canada, having shifted over one hundred million copies of the games over the years making it the best selling sports game ever.
EA SPORTS has its development house in Vancouver, Canada and is home to the biggest motion capture facility in the world, where the team are able to encapsulate the movements of a suited player with over 120 cameras recording their every move digitally, with or without a football, to ensure the best performance and transfer of movement to the game itself. The same facility can also be credited for the motion capture of the brilliant basketball series NBA LIVE and also the FIGHT NIGHT boxing series, with a real size boxing ring being installed in the same arena as is used to capture the football and basketball players, tho not at the same time I wouldn’t think.
These days, FIFA controls are refined, with buttons for finesse, for power, a million ways to score a free kick (of which I can master none) trick sticks for the skills that pay the bills with your favourite freestyler and as many formations as you can shake a stick at. But nothing beats playing online, against someone you have never interacted with in your life, and scoring a 92nd minute screamer from 30 yards and wheeling away in celebration with your virtual team mates.
Over the years, many different players have graced the covers of the annual release of FIFA and one of the most memorable covers I can remember was FIFA 2003 which had Roberto Carlos, Ryan Giggs and Edgar Davids on the front, although probably as iconic was the stylistic cover of FIFA 2004 which included Thierry Henry, Allesandro Del Piero and Ronaldinho, three of the best players in Europe at that time, if not the World.
Now as an adult of 33, it’s quite clear to tell that my obsession with FIFA lives on, using my spare time at night, while my young family are in bed, to hone my skills on FIFA 15 on the Xbox One and also transferring my obsession to my two young boys of 8 and 10 who love nothing more than a wee bit of rivalry in the living room while my daughter of four innocently plays with her Frozen Anna doll, all the time not knowing that the FIFA obsession WILL come to her.
Do you like FIFA 15 or some other games launched by EA Sports?