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FIFA

These are EA Sports' big focuses for Madden, FIFA, and NHL in 2015

Jun 15 // Brett Makedonski
Without a doubt, Madden is the EA Sports franchise that's been given the most attention over the years. It'd have been easy for the publisher to ask for some more subtle changes like even slicker presentation. To EA's credit, it's working out a new take on a gameplay staple -- a risky venture in an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" culture of gaming. EA Sports has coined the term "Air Supremacy" for its Madden focus, and it begins at the position everyone starts with: Quarterback. There's greater control over the passing game now when helming a football team. Touch passes have been implemented to offer some variation in between lobs and bullets. The developers have altered how passers move on the run by using different animations for rolling out (yet looking for a receiver), and a full-on scramble. Maybe the biggest change to the quarterback position comes in the form of body positional passes. As an example, the presenter brought up the Seahawks' last offensive play in the Super Bowl this year. Russell Wilson threw a mid-body pass, and it was picked off. If he had thrown a low one (as he should have), the worst case scenario would've likely been an incompletion. With this installment of Madden, the player will have that sort of pinpoint control over every pass. However, passing is a two-way street, and no quarterback will put up Hall of Fame numbers without an apt receiving corps. Madden 16 also focuses on wideouts, as they can implement different styles to make catches. Maybe an ill-thrown pass calls for them to go up and challenge a defender for a ball. They likely won't gain many yards after the reception, but they might actually catch it (and more importantly, the chances of an interception go way down.) Or, maybe the situation is optimal for them to rack up some yards after catch. Do that, and pick up a first down. Those are just a few of the circumstances where Madden 16 lets you choose how to catch the ball after it lets you choose how to throw it. Lastly, ever eager to capitalize on the growing fantasy football trend, Madden 16 has a new fantasy mode. Draft Champions is a 15-round fantasy draft that allows you to build a team from all NFL players and play a full season. The publisher described this as the type of mode you might play if you had a couple hours to kill before you went to bed. The seasons are designed to go quickly, allowing you to draft an entirely new team relatively quickly after finishing one campaign. While Madden's focuses are easy to identify, FIFA 16's are a little more nebulous (apart from the women's national teams that were added.) They're centered around the player as the playmaker, but mostly in how all the surrounding pieces move. In a nutshell, EA Sports is upping the competency of FIFA's AI. It's improving positional defensive sense and how they defend as a unit. The goal (GOLAZO!!!) here is players have to be more strategic with their attack. Passing better be done with a purpose, or the opposition will just take the ball from you at midfield. But, working down the pitch and clinically finishing should feel like an actual accomplishment, one that sends you running and shouting toward a section of fevered supporters. This is the most difficult enhancement in the three games to recognize at a preview event. These are changes that define the very core of the sport. For instance, with Madden it's easy to play and realize "oh yeah, the quarterback is doing those things they said he would." It's not as simple with FIFA this year. If it's as improved as EA says, hardcore fans might recognize it, but more casual players might just think "Yeah, this is a good soccer game." As subtle as FIFA's intentions are, NHL's are far more brazen. It's eschewing the likes of physics and presentation for something else this year. Basically, EA's looking to add in a lot of the stuff that was inexplicably absent in NHL 15. Those who are dedicated to the series should be content, as long as they weren't too put off by last year's game. The most notable (re)addition to NHL 16 is EA Sports Hockey League -- an online competitive team mode that was quite popular. It was cut from NHL 15 due to "quality control," but it's back this year. Actually, EA's inclusion of several modes and features is a testament to the fact that it's listening to the fans (or to how awry the last game went). Also present are offline, single player Hockey Ultimate Team; simulating to the next shift in Be a Pro, along with playing a career beginning in the minors; and the ability to manage individual players in Be a GM. As it's moving beyond the growing pains of developing for new consoles, EA Sports is making strides with its hockey franchise. It sounds like NHL 16 will end up being the game NHL 15 should've been. It's just a shame it took an extra year. So, that's where EA Sports' intentions lie for Madden 16, FIFA 16, and NHL 16. They're all different in the varying degrees of change that needed to be made. Some, like NHL are more apparent, while Madden just moves a bit closer to that sim experience. But, they all look to be on track to be an improvement thanks to their one big focus.
EA Sports preview photo
EA Sports round-up!
Another year, another collection of EA Sports titles. EA's in a fortuitous position in that it has the video game rights to three of the five most popular athletics wrapped up. Demand for these games seemingly never wanes bec...

FIFA 16 photo
FIFA 16

FIFA 16 includes women's national teams (finally)


Four top players did motion capture
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
The FIFA video game series has been around for two decades, and in that time, it's been a boys only club. There's been outside pressure to reform, notably in 2013 when Spanish player Vero Boquete started a petition to u...
EA Access photo
EA Access

FIFA 15 now included in EA Access


NHL 15, too
May 08
// Jordan Devore
Electronic Arts' Xbox One game subscription service, EA Access, has added FIFA 15. Subscribers can play the full game and save 10 percent on Ultimate Team Points (be strong!). Good opportunity to link to that glitch where eve...

Soccer suckers photo
Soccer suckers

FIFA 15 PC glitch just runs everyone to the center of the pitch


Good job, EA
Sep 24
// Steven Hansen
FIFA 15, just released yesterday in North America and yet to be released in Europe and the UK, is already having some troubles. Maybe you're in luck if you buy it on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS or Vita (and b...
#brands photo
#brands

Team USA's Clint Dempsey loses Xbox shirt for PS3/PS4 FIFA 15 cover


#brands
Jul 21
// Steven Hansen
Lionel Messi will grace the cover of FIFA for the third year straight year, but FIFA 15's North American release will see team USA's Clint Dempsey creeping behind Messi, wondering why his lighting is so different.  ...
FIFA 15 photo
FIFA 15

FIFA 15 puts priority on emotions and giant dogpiles


Everyone looks so happy!
Jul 18
// Brett Makedonski
Last month, I did my best to tell you what EA Sports wanted to put emphasis on for its three big sports titles this year. Then, it went and undermined me by releasing videos that say exactly what I wrote. In the unfortunate ...

EA Sports has one big focus for Madden, FIFA, and NHL this year

Jun 09 // Brett Makedonski
Madden may have been the franchise that's received the most love and care from EA for more than a decade, so it might be the one that's seeing the most nuanced changes. A lot of the upgrades to Madden 15 deal with presentation. There's no question about it: EA Sports wants you to feel like you're watching a football game when you're playing a football game. As soon as a game starts, that level of immersion begins to take effect. As we were shown a match-up featuring the recent NFL champion Seattle Seahawks in their home venue, we couldn't help but be impressed by the attention to detail. Wide-angle shots of the stadium, close-ups of the coach, the camera shaking from the intensity of the crowd -- it all positively smacked of watching a playoff game on television. That degree of presentation depth extends throughout the entire experience. New to Madden 15 is a full-fledged halftime show, explicitly tailored to the game at hand. Apart from detailed discussion about trends and certain plays in the first half, there's also on-field entertainment, statistics, box scores -- again, all the stuff that you could expect from a Sunday afternoon broadcast. [embed]275792:54268:0[/embed] There's also a bit of refinement taking place with regard to gameplay. One of EA's biggest priorities was to get away from using the skill stick to wiggle through plays, but instead concentrate on authentic strategy. Working toward being as close to a true simulation as possible, Madden 15 puts more emphasis on wise play-calling than unrealistic juking. However, Madden 15 will offer a bit of hand-holding to help acclimate those that haphazardly select plays like they're pointing out names in a phonebook. An updated approach to the play-calling screen shows players a strategic pick, a community pick, and a personalized pick. The strategic pick outlines what the opponent is likely to do, and hopefully reinforces your actions by teaching you about the game. The community and personalized selections don't sound as if they'll be as strategically refined, but, just like Madden, sometimes the popular choice is popular for a reason. If the improvements to Madden 15 hold a central theme of presentation, the one relating to FIFA 15 is undoubtedly emotion. Soccer is a game that brings out the passion and emotion in players and fans alike, after all. That's going to be nowhere more evident than in FIFA 15. EA set the framework for this feature last year; this year it's fleshing it out. Emotion and intensity of all 22 players on the pitch will be tracked at all times and constantly changing. The victim of a hard tackle might become angry at the opposition, and his teammates might too. A player that skies a ball in the box might be disappointed with himself, and react as such. Something as ridiculous as a keeper letting in an own goal might destroy team morale, at least temporarily. Of course, the emotion all translates to the players' other statistics, effectively acting as a boost or hindrance of sorts. Even though the emotion system will affect matches of FIFA 15 at its deepest level, it will have plenty of opportunities to become the star of the show. The greatest example of this may be after important goals are scored, as celebrations are now more grand than ever. Ten player dogpiles and elated sliding and hugging are sure to add an appropriate exclamation point to important moments and monumental wins. The emotion doesn't just stay on the pitch, however. It bleeds into the stadium. Rowdy crowds that hang onto every corner kick and through ball know how to act for any circumstance that might arise. Further, supporters are represented by the specificity that they're known for, and well, it's tough not to get goosebumps watching all of Anfield sing "You'll Never Walk Alone." EA's third major sports title for the year, NHL 15, focuses its intentions toward something much more integral than presentation or emotion. NHL 15 aims to revamp its physics, an aspect that affects the core of the hockey experience. Now that development of these titles has moved to its fourth generation, EA Sports stresses that consoles are equipped to do things that were never before possible. One such thing, and maybe the most notable improvement to NHL 15, is that the puck acts more like a puck and less like a ball. It may seem silly at first, but it's a sizable upgrade. Pucks are nothing like spheres, and being able to recreate their true movement adds that layer of realism that EA Sports yearns for. Expect more awkward bounces off of the endboards, funny hops over sticks, and deflections past goaltenders that weren't possible before. All because the puck acts like a puck now. Obviously, the puck is far from the only thing on the ice. There are also 12 athletes, 10 of which are skating about at breakneck speed. The physics improvements extend to them as well. The collision and hit detection for them has been overhauled in an effort to make every bodycheck unique to the forces being applied. In theory, because of the great number of influencing factors, each check will be like a snowflake -- no two the exact same. That's where EA Sports' intentions lie for Madden 15, FIFA 15, and NHL 15. The focal points may appear to smack of more subtlety with each passing year, and maybe it's because that's exactly the case. That's a luxury that EA Sports has on its side as it inches ever-closer to realism.
EA Sports photo
EA Sports round-up!
EA Sports is in a good position with its athletic franchises. The demand for annual iterations in each series is high enough to warrant frequent releases, but sports don't really change. This allows the developers to focus on...

FIFA 15 photo
FIFA 15

FIFA 15 promises a more vibrant experience


I'd play more FIFA if Idris Elba narrated it
Jun 09
// Alasdair Duncan
The FIFA franchise has been built on the iteration of previous year's installments, so it's no surprise to see FIFA 15 offer a more dynamic environment over any gameplay changes. In EA's press event today, we saw a bigger fo...
FIFA photo
FIFA

FIFA 15 on PC won't use the old engine again


Parity with PS4, Xbox One
Jun 05
// Jordan Devore
While EA Sports went with its new Ignite engine for FIFA 14 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the company opted not to use the game engine for the PC version. At the time, it was argued that the average player didn't have a good...
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EA looking to stream games direct to Comcast customers


Get titles like Madden and Fifa from your cable provider
May 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Electronic Arts could soon be offering their games directly to Comcast subscribers, according to a report from Reuters. The two companies have been in talks, and after two years of testing it seems the deal is close to an agr...
FIFA World Cup Brazil photo
FIFA World Cup Brazil

I wonder how much money EA makes on 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil


We are one (profit oriented business)
Apr 17
// Steven Hansen
Every four years, many of us pretend to be fans of il calcio -- I'm sorry, soccer -- for the global spectacle that is the World Cup. Every four years, EA releases an extra, novelty soccer game (in addition to its annual FIFA...
 photo

459,000 FIFA 14 games are being played every 90 minutes


Footyball
Dec 05
// Dale North
I'm playing and digging FIFA 14, but I'll admit to not having any idea what's going on. I don't know the teams, the players, or any of the rules. I just try to get the ball to the goal.On the other hand, my European frie...
FIFA Manager is no more photo
FIFA Manager is no more

EA says there won't be any more FIFA Manager games


Ain't that a ball in your face
Nov 25
// Joshua Derocher
Gerald Köhler, the founder and designer of FIFA Manager, sent out an open letter this weekend stating that FIFA Manager 14 would be the last one in the series. He said that "one game has practically dominated the ma...
FIFA 14 photo
FIFA 14

FIFA 14 crash reported on Xbox One


Don't boot the game up with two controllers connected
Nov 24
// Wesley Ruscher
A recent post on the EA Sports support page confirms launching FIFA 14 on Xbox One, while two controllers are connected, may cause the game to crash during startup.  The post breaks down the root of the crash t...

FIFA 14 adds layers of realism to the pitch

Nov 06 // Tim Sheehy
FIFA 14 (Xbox One) Developer: EA Canada Publisher: Electronic Arts Release Date: November 19, 2013 The first thing I noticed right off the bat was that every player felt heavier, and less-floaty than they had in previous installments of the game. It took a bit ot get used to the change, but over time, each movement began to seem a bit more realistic. Apparently this is due to the IGNITE engine's "precision movement" mechanics, designed to add more depth and detail to the animations. And, while I honestly feel like they're throwing around a few buzz words there, I can vouch that the FIFA 14's mechanics are more polished than ever before. Set pieces seemed a bit more dynamic, with players actually going out of their way to defend or head the ball without any prompting on my part. This actually made what should have been an easy game far more difficult than I had initially expected. At the same time, it kept me from losing against a few well placed corners. The rest of the gameplay, such as challenges, slides, shots and passes maintain the status quo we've come to expect from the series, although some of the more dynamic shots, such as bicycle kicks, look stunning in the replays. Visually speaking, the crowd at the stadium looked surprisingly sharp, and not simply copied and pasted throughout. It's safe to say there's at least enough variation to prevent that from becoming an eye sore. Full stadiums are now rendered in their entirety, complete with outside shots of each stadium and their surrounding geography. It's a neat feature to have, but at the same time, little more than a cosmetic face-lift. There are a few other visual improvements stand out, including everything from wrinkles on players uniforms to the blades of grass on the pitch itself. Interestingly enough, the wrinkles on the uniforms appeared more like static images, rather than transitioning dynamically. When asked, I was told that because it's the first year they're implementing that specific feature, they're hoping to improve it in future installments -- an adequate excuse, I suppose, especially considering the game gets an annual installment. In the end, I enjoyed my time with FIFA 14. It's safe to say the next-gen installment delivers more than a kit update. Those of you who've managed to hold out will be in for a treat.
Fifa 14 Preview photo
Refined mechanics aim to keep things fresh
From what I understand, FIFA 14 is one of the earliest games to be shown consistently running on Xbox One hardware, rather than being demonstrated on PC-based development kits. That being the case, I expected a solid performa...

FIFA 14 photo
FIFA 14

This FIFA promo will make everyone everywhere facepalm


'Oh, we're in dreamland!'
Sep 27
// Brett Makedonski
Well, here's a swing and a miss by EA's marketing department -- an overly Australian attempt at teaching us FIFA 14's celebrations "Oz Style". It's about as insufferably embarrassing as an advertisement can get. And that's b...
FIFA 14 photo
FIFA 14

FIFA 14 is nearly the exact same game as FIFA 13 on 3DS


'Legacy Edition' = roster update
Sep 23
// Chris Carter
FIFA 14 is on the way for the Nintendo 3DS. But it seems as if you'll be getting the exact same game as last year, as there is one major caveat found in the press release -- the phrase "Legacy Edition." Game Informer reports ...
 photo

FIFA 14 on Vita is a reskin of FIFA 13


Which was a reskin of FIFA Soccer
Aug 23
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Some may remember when it was discovered that FIFA 13 on the PlayStation Vita was a reskin of FIFA Soccer, the first soccer game to be released on the Vita. Well guess what?! FIFA 14 is going to be another reskin too. "There ...
FIFA 14 photo
FIFA 14

Sir Patrick Stewart presents: FIFA 14


Jean-Luc Picard makes anything sound amazing
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
[Update: A demo for FIFA 14 is coming for PC, PS3, and 360 owners worldwide on September 10th (11th for European PS3 owners). Also, enjoy the trailer featuring Sir Patrick Stewart!] Lots of great FIFA 14 related news was ann...
 photo

All Xbox One preorders in Europe will include FIFA 14


Absolutely free
Aug 20
// Dale North
FIFA 14 comes with every pre-ordered Xbox One in Europe, while supplies last. Free! Europe only, naturally. But what a nice bonus!
 photo

FIFA 14 for Xbox One gets Ultimate Team Legends mode


Exclusive to Xbox
Aug 20
// Dale North
The football (Soccer to you Americans) stars of today can be combined with the legends of yesterday in FIFA 14. A new mode called Ultimate Team Legends comes only to Xbox, announced this morning at a pre-gamescom Xbox One pre...
FIFA photo
FIFA

EA 'didn't give a sh*t about FIFA'


The iconic football franchise almost never happened
Aug 16
// Alasdair Duncan
It may seem surprising considering the sales juggernaut it became but Electronic Arts wasn't initially keen on making the first installment in the long running FIFA series. "EA didn't give a sh*t about FIFA," says former EA m...
GameStop Xbox One deal photo
GameStop Xbox One deal

GameStop wants to help you trade up from 360 to Xbox One


$50 credit on select 360 games for Power Up Rewards members
Aug 09
// Steven Hansen
I bet GameStop is a little happier selling Xbox Ones now that the used game market is back. To show this support, the company is running a somewhat neat promotion. If you are a PowerUp Rewards member and buy select games for ...
 photo

Titanfall will be playable to the public at gamescom


As will a bunch of other Electronic Arts games
Jul 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Electronic Arts will be at gamescom in a big way this year, and they're bringing a big lineup of games that people can get hands-on with. The most notable being Titanfall, our game of the show for E3. Fans can also play Battl...
EA Sports Ignite engine photo
EA Sports Ignite engine

EA Sports' next-gen engine doesn't support PC, Wii U


Average PC can't handle its power and console-designed architecture
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
EA Sports Ignite, the engine slated to handle PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sports games from EA like NBA Live 14, EA Sports UFC, Madden 25,and FIFA 14, presently doesn't support the PC or Wii U. FIFA is the only notable sports ...
 photo

Drake is just one fan who loves FIFA


No word yet if Amanda Bynes wants Drake to murder this
Jun 10
// Wesley Ruscher
Elite technology brings the artistry of soccer this fall to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with FIFA 14. With the power of the Ignite engine stadiums are now alive, allowing players to feel the reactions and emotions from the cro...
 photo

FIFA 14 out September 24 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC


Plus pre-order incentives detailed
May 24
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
FIFA 14 will be out on September 24, 2013 in North America, and September 27 in Europe. Those of you that want to pre-order the upcoming soccer game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or PC will be able to get the "Ultimate Pas...
FIFA photo
FIFA

New FIFA to be shown tomorrow during Xbox event


FIFA 14
May 20
// Jordan Devore
At what point can we start calling this a trend? After McLaren of all companies hinted at an announcement during Microsoft's pre-E3 reveal event for the next Xbox, now we have EA Sports hyping up "the next generation of FIFA"...
 photo

EA extends FIFA license agreement through 2022


20 years and going
May 08
// Dale North
EA Sports have announced that they've extended their licensing agreement with FIFA, meaning you'll see EA-made soccer games through at least December 2022. The people that play the 65 million weekly games will appreciate this...
Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

Expect new games from EA Sports, BioWare, and DICE at E3


Darn you, non-disclosure agreements!
May 07
// Jordan Devore
During an investor call today, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau briefly discussed the company's plans for E3 2013. As expected, June is going to be a big month for the new home consoles. "Regarding next generation consoles, w...

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