Soccer is "the world's game," and EA's FIFA series has been the publisher's best-selling sports title for years now. EA Sports president Peter Moore hit the stage at yesterday afternoon's Electronic Arts E3 press conference to drop some staggering numbers: 42 million FIFA 11 users across a variety of platforms -- consoles, handhelds, iOS, and Facebook -- have played 1.3 billion online games.
Then came Matt Bilbey, the VP and GM of the FIFA franchise, to talk about the innovations that FIFA 12 will bring when it launches this fall. Chief among them is a cross-platform social experience dubbed EA Sports Football Club, a service that aims to keep gamers playing and thinking about FIFA at all times. The idea is to pick your favorite team and contribute to increasing their rank on the leaderboards. EASFC will integrate storylines from real-life soccer matches for modes such as challenges -- avenge your team's defeat on the pitch, and you'll increase its digital leaderboard position -- and users will earn experience points for any version of FIFA that they play.
In addition, you'll be able to compete with your friends and share your collective experiences, keeping track of everyone's progress both in the game and on the Internet. The challenges will be updated regularly, so as to keep the game current with the soccer season. EA Sports Football Club will be included with FIFA 12 at no additional charge, and it will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Check out the gallery for screenshots of what the mode looks like!