30 years of evolution from the birth of FIFA to its name change

“vintage FIFA, It’s like wine. I have a good year and not so good. »» A professional magazine since 1997 Joystick Predicted the ups and downs of a long career in this series of successful video games.That year, journalists objected “picket” FIFA 97 To “Good vintage” FIFA 98: Road to the World Cup..

The Electronic Arts (EA) franchise, which has been declining at a sustained rate of one episode each year since 1993, faces the permanent challenge of reusing the same recipe each year while maintaining public attention. doing.

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However, his nearly 30-year career reveals some key turning points that convey both the evolution of video gaming media and the fascinating success of this license. Each variation has been at the top of annual sales in France since 2014. ..

Read again: FIFA 22 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe dominated video game sales in 2021

But 2022 is an unprecedented year FIFA : On May 10, after months of negotiations with the Federation of International Football Associations, the EA announced that it would rename its flagship game from the summer of 2023. EA Sports FC..Take this opportunity to look back on nine important episodes that have changed FIFA..

1990s: outsiders

  • “” FIFA International Soccer (1993): First Goal

When released on the Mega Drive in December 1993, FIFA Immediately praised for its technical realism: “Actual game tactics in the cartridge”, Enthusiasm for professional magazines Player One. Efforts made with soundtracks and character animations also allow for more immersiveness than competition. “I have never seen such a range of movements for a simple player”, Journalists are careful Joystick When released on PC.

This success in Europe is a complete surprise for EA, which focuses on American football (Madden) Or ice hockey (NHL). “Internally, people didn’t even know what FIFA was.”Consignment world Marc Aubanel in 2015. The first producer of the series explains that an American publisher decided to put it at risk, especially since the World Cup was held in the United States in 1994.

Its first name, FIFA, was released on December 15, 1993 on the Sega 16-bit console MegaDrive, and the following year it appeared on other platforms (Super Nintendo, PC, or Amiga).
  • “FIFA Soccer 96”: Entering the present age

The third episode, far from the most complete episode FIFA Nevertheless, it is decisive for the DNA of the series. For the first time, thanks to an agreement with the International Federation of Professional Football Associations (Fifpro), the simulation will use the player’s real name. Prior to that, developers gave athletes and teams fancy or vaguely inspiring names. FIFA 96 By providing 3D graphics for the first time, we will make another big change.

  • “FIFA 98”: World Champion of Virtual Soccer …

In December 1997, the French team was not yet a world champion FIFA 98: Road to the World Cup (And for a few months, its quasi-twin, game World Cup 98) It stands out as one of the pinnacles of video game football in the 1990s. Opus immerses himself in 6,400 football players, 172 national teams, 189 clubs, 11 leagues, and for the first time a virtual replica of a real stadium. The match commentary by French pros Thierry Girardi and David Ginola will find their place for the first time in a simulation. Finally, its pop soundtrack marks the spirit.Crazy Song 2 What was Blur Rock until the 1990s FIFA 98 In the video game: Classic.

One of the interests of FIFA 98: Road to World Cup was to transfer famous players like real coaches to form his dream team.

2000s: Confrontation with “PES”

  • “FIFA 2001”: Offside

On the technical side FIFA 2001 It is the first pioneer to offer online competition on PC. This device is essential today. But playfully, heritage is weak.Purists then like him ISS Pro Evolution 2 (2000), the last episode of the competing series Live World Soccer, Was launched in 1994 by Japanese studio Konami.Therefore, formidable competition FIFA When ISS, In the meantime Pro Evolution Soccer ((((ESP).

The latter gradually ” “Pure and difficult” simulation [qui] Reproduce the gestures, techniques, and rhythms of an actual soccer match as close to reality as possible. “, As mentioned Parisian Unlike 2006 “Easy to approach” of FIFA.. For half a dozen years FIFA Flutter, ESP Steal the place in the minds of gamers.

  • “FIFA 09”: Successful transition to HD

FIFA 08 Already, the first episode designed for the PlayStation 3 generation is FIFAThanks to the new game engine next to it ESP Suddenly it looked pretty clumsy. FIFA 09 Confirming this shift, it will allow EA games to gradually regain their leading position in football simulations. “Awesome vintage”, Written at that time Geneva grandstand.. «FIFA It adds a sense of luxury and offers even more full-scale simulation. “ Analyze it New York Times..

read : Soccer game “FIFA” which became the best-selling cultural product in France

FIFA 09 It also involves risks. It offers 10 to 10 online game integration and a mode in which only one character can be played within the team. EA also integrates virtual card games Soccer Ultimate Team (FUT)Its embedded microtransactions generate significant revenue.

At the time of the launch of the FIFA Ultimate Team, one million players were in attendance.  According to EA, there were 30 million people in 2021.

From the 2010s: Ballon d’Or

At this time, the series also benefited from the public's enthusiasm for two extraordinary players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.  In 2012, the contract between the Argentine star and
  • FIFA 2017: Transfer the story

By giving you more control over the ball than ever before, FIFA 10, 11 11, 12 When 13 According to rating aggregator Metacritic, they have established and continue to dominate among the most popular episodes at the time of release. But how do you reinforce what is considered nearly perfect? After adding a female team in the previous episode FIFA 2017 Adventure on the side of fiction. This highly scripted “story” mode provides you with a journey of Alex Hunter characters over the years.

Always visually more attractive, diverse in content, FIFA 17 It’s a victory in the store. In 2016, it established itself as the best-selling console game in the world. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, From Activision.

  • “FIFA 20”: Escape from captivity

The Covid-19 pandemic-related confinement stopped the football match. Online soccer practice goes far beyond sports practice. FIFA is in an unthinkable situation. The right paid to use the license ($ 158 million) will be the first source of income for the year.

FIFA 20 Attract more players than ever before (25 million unique players, according to EA). Above all FIFA Ultimate Team, Variations in teams of players in virtual surprise bags are becoming more popular than basic game modes. Since then, Belgian justice has forced publishers to block purchases in real currencies. was, The principle that is equivalent to a game where luck depends. Other legal proceedings against him have begun in Canada, the United States, France and the Netherlands.

FIFA 20 also includes a Volta game mode that offers street football.

30s changing name

  • “EASports FC”: First of the name

Those who have been “getting a little FIFA” since 2023 need to change their habits.by New York TimesThirty years after its launch, the simulation will be renamed after the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The heated debate that this announcement had already been triggered online a few months before it was officially announced FIFA It’s not just a video game. Quoted in rap songs and hijacked in memes, it has risen to the rank of popular culture icon.

Let digital football enthusiasts feel at ease. In most cases, the 2023 vintage may be almost unchanged. In fact, the termination of the partnership with FIFA does not condemn the loss of the player’s name, guaranteed by the contract with Fifpro, which was renegotiated in 2021, or by various championships negotiated with the organizers. .. Only events specially hosted by the World Cup and FIFA should disappear from the game.