Posted in News on Sep 22, 2005.
Fifa Soccer 2006 will be released at the beginning of October with the international team line-up that gamers can select for play enhanced by the addition of two local soccer teams - Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
In addition, the combination of play and management functionality in a single release puts this offering, which currently boasts more than 60% of the soccer gaming market in SA, way ahead of its competitors.
“To make the game locally relevant we approached Pirates and Chiefs management, collecting information on the league, teams and individual players for inclusion,” explains Wayne Parkinson, business development manager of Electronic Arts South Africa, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment company.
“The aim is to allow the gamer to interact with the teams and individual players directly during play. We expect approximately 16 million copies of the game will be sold globally so this means increased brand equity for these local teams,” enthuses Parkinson.
“Soccer is South Africa’s number one sport and Pirates and Chiefs together make up 80% of the local soccer marketshare in terms of supporters,” says Pippa Freer of Orlando Pirates.
“This is an exciting first for us. Inclusion in gaming technology will take the Kaizer Chiefs brand to an international level. Chiefs has very recently been awarded Superbrand status and we look forward to seeing further positive impact on our brand marketing with the release of Fifa Soccer 2006.”
" We are excited to penetrate the video and PC gaming market and look forward to continued growth in this arena."
“To ensure the game remains relevant at its release, we have included the statistics of the entire bench – ie, both the current and reserve players,” adds Parkinson.
“We have correlated local statistics, including how a player’s style impacts the game, the strengths of the players (eg, if he is a good midfielder, shooter or defender) and have incorporated the past season’s stats on players and matches to make the game as realistic as possible.
“Our differentiation in this release is the inclusion of both play and management functionality, offerings that were previously only available as stand-alone products.
"This will allow players to not only select teams to play a cup or premiership, but also transfer players through the leagues, set up teams, select relevant coaches for defence or attack strategy-type games, and set up tournaments.”
Gamers can optimise team and player selection for specific matches or tournaments in a number of environments with access to team AI, attributes, tactics, playing styles and individual player personalities.
The game sports more than 350 official teams, 20 league licenses, 40 national teams and 15 000 players.
Authentic environments are a highlight of this release with more than 32 licensed stadiums mapped for play. A Career Mode also gives users the chance to take a team from the lower divisions, battle through ranks, sign new players and turn them into champions.
The action is deeper than ever with advanced levels of player detail and responsiveness.
With the all-new fluid player kinetic system, player reaction time translates directly into the speed of the world’s greatest players.
Ensuring promotion of the game on the ground, future releases of Fifa Soccer will contain more local content, while a percentage of local sales of the product will be donated to soccer development funds managed by the two local soccer clubs.
A Fifa Soccer 2006 release for PlayStation Portable (PSP), a handheld version of PlayStation, will also be available. For mobile gamers, Fifa Mobile downloads via WAP to a mobile phone. As the memory capacity is small, specific teams can be added to the basic download for a minimal fee.
While real-time online gaming is problematic in South Africa given bandwidth restrictions, gamers can take on opponents from anywhere in the country via EA SPORTS online (PlayStation® 2 and PC only).
An online lobby area where gamers can meet, greet, chat and play Fifa head to head provides the ultimate interactive experience.