Many console game series have the ability to captivate a worldwide audience and establish a strong fan base who remain brand loyal amidst the presence of market rivals. Fifa games have continued to capture the imagination and joy of millions of gamers across the world for over twenty years through an array of annually-released titles that have been pivotal in its evolution. Electronic Arts have developed a hugely popular game series which continues to battle for consumer attention and market dominance with Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer Series, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide illustrating just how successful Fifa games continue to be in the gaming community as one of the biggest selling franchises. The Fifa series has continued to incorporate ground-breaking technology into its overall structure and gameplay, with the current title, Fifa 14, reducing the gap even more between virtual reality and the real world. Playing the game is just as exciting and gripping as sports betting on live football matches, although you are in more control of your destiny with a controller in your hand.
The early years
1993 marked the beginning of a wonderful, evolving games series with Fifa International Soccer which instantly broke the barriers of graphic and gameplay possibilities. Throughout the 16-bit era, football games were usually developed through a top-down view, bird’s eye view or side view – Fifa provided the first isometric view which became the stepping stone for future football games. As Fifa International Soccer took the gaming world by storm, Electronic Arts decided to utilise the same game engine in Fifa 95 which included club competitions, such as the Bundesliga, La Liga and Premier League, for gamers to play with. Although it was only released for the Sega Mega Drive, Fifa 95 became an instant hit with gamers which symbolised just how popular the title had become so soon into its existence. Fifa 96 not only provided an introduction for the first time, but also was the first game in the series to integrate 3D graphics. The latter has since been combined with motion capture technology first introduced in Fifa 97 to create huge hits that have integrated real-life intelligence, precision movement, and real ball physics.
The present day
Fast forward to Fifa 10 and the game series carries all the hallmarks of the previous titles, with extensive game-playing modes and a number of domestic leagues and international teams providing gamers with plenty of options at their fingertips. Fifa 10 changed the dynamics of the gameplay for loyal fans to savour, with the 8-point turn system transformed into a 360 degree player control which allows gamers to move, control, pass and shoot in any direction without being restricted. It created a more realistic style of gameplay that reflected real-life movement shown by professional footballers across the world, with players such as Wayne Rooney endorsing the game through his contribution in the motion capture phase of game development. While Fifa 11 made subtle alterations and improvements to the overall gameplay, Fifa 12 saw the introduction of a gaming app that allowed players to log into their Ultimate Team account, without having to turn on their console, and make player transactions with other gamers worldwide. It signalled the beginning of significant advancements in the Fifa series that expanded gameplay capabilities to new boundaries and showed that football-based console games could become almost realistic.
Fifa 13 saw the integration of innovative gameplay features that further enhanced the game’s quality and realistic touches that resonated with how players in the real world run, pass, shoot and control a ball. It created a game which was not only highly engrossing for gamers and loyal fans to play, but also illustrated the capabilities of gaming technology to produce high definition console titles. Fifa 14 has pushed the boundaries even further with yet more gameplay modes, such as co-op online seasons where two friends can play on the same team against other people across the world, and next generation graphics which arrived via the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Next-Gen graphics has revolutionised the entire face of football games as not only are each footballer’s face and appearance almost exact to their real life appearance, but also each person in the crowd has their own animated actions to make gamers feel like they are playing on the pitch themselves in front of a real live crowd. The colour gradients and textures of every aspect of the gameplay, such as the kit detail, hair, grass movement, ball spin and stadium structures are designed and animated to perfection to create a superb game that sets a new benchmark for future Fifa games , and other football-based titles, to aspire to.