FIFA Street Interview

FIFA Street Interview

Rebooting a franchise is a tricky business. EA has had its fair share of series reboots and is trying once again with its street soccer franchise FIFA Street. Although FIFA Street may not ever be on the same play field as its simulation counterpart in the FIFA franchise who doesn't want to have a bit of a crazy time on the pitch? Well EA is back with its reboot of FIFA Street and we had the chance to catch up with Sid Misra, Line Producer of FIFA Street to see what the new game is all about. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about FIFA Street. So we don't confuse anyone is this a full reboot of the FIFA Street series?

Other than the fact that it’s still about street football, yes.

Part of the reason to launch it as a reboot is to separate ourselves from the FIFA Street games of the past, which had a lot of promise, but did not deliver on the end quality.  The rebooted FIFA Street is meant to be the first truly quality street football game, that plays authentic to the different styles of play around the world.  Built by the football team, on the award-winning FIFA gameplay engine helps to ensure this will be the case.

So I really enjoyed the past FIFA Street titles what was the rationale for bringing the series back?

Hmm… I think I answered some of this above… but to add to it – if you’ll recall, John Riccitello (EA CEO) announced a few years back an overall EA strategy of fewer, bigger hits.  The idea was focus on the quality of the core products.  Every EA SPORTS title has seen great increases in quality and market share as a result of the focus on quality.  Being in a strong place in our core products allows us to start exploring other opportunities to attract more gamers – and also a much better starting point for future franchises to build on.

FIFA Street was always on our radar, but we didn’t want to bring it out until we could commit the right team and people to it, as well as ensure we could deliver a product that lived up to the quality expectations of the “FIFA” franchise.  With the introduction of Player Impact Engine and Precision Dribbling to the award-winning FIFA gameplay engine in FIFA12, the foundation for building a great street football experience was in place.

What are some of the big features in FIFA Street that we should know about? Any deep career modes or anything?

Our key game mode is called “World Tour”.  World Tour is a connected, social game mode that enables you to create yourself in game, build your own team of street footballers, and progress to become the best street football team in the world moving from a local area to national to Europe and then the world stage.

Connected gamers will be able to build their team using their friend’s created characters or other characters created by FIFA Street gamers, as all players and teams are sent to the EA servers.  Their World Tour experience will then feature user created teams and players (including ones their friends make) – which creates more variety in gameplay as all the teams are tailored to each gamer’s unique preferences.  What’s also cool is we have built online head-to-head functionality into the World Tour tournaments, so you can choose to play against other gamers directly from the World Tour game mode itself for additional challenge/competition.

Progression in the mode is driven by user’s success in challenges and tournaments – your performance in these help grow your squad and contribute to your World Tour rankings.  When you rank high enough you unlock the finals in each stage which move you to the next level.  Growing your squad is based on how stylish you are in your matches, which will earn your team and players points to help level them up and unlock new skills, styles and attributes.

Your World Tour will take you through over 35 locations around the world, culminating in the World Futsal finals in the spiritual home of street football – Rio.

Highlights of World Tour include:

  • 16 tournaments and 20 challenges, all played in unique environments.
  • Over 100 different styles, tricks & celebrations to grow your player and allow you to compete with more style and flair.
  • Over 200 unlock items for your squad, including team kits, street wear, boots, environments and teams.
  • Play connected, and all teams in the FIFA Street World Tour are teams created by other FIFA Street gamers – all grown based on the gamers’ own style and preferences.
  • All tournaments give the user the option to play online head-to-head.  Step up your game by not just playing against other gamers’ teams – but against other gamers.
  • All tournaments & challenges feature their own connected leaderboards to compare your results against your friends.

Can you talk to us about the the new in-game social network "Street Network"? How will this play into the experience?

FIFA Street Network is an extension of the EA SPORTS Football Club – the infrastructure is same in terms of news and leaderboards, but we have built on a new feature that we think strongly resonates with the culture of street football – the ability to easily share and watch videos of the cool moves your friends pull off in the game.  Video upload has always been a part of our sports titles, but FIFA Street Network allows you to view the videos without having to leave your console.

Is FIFA Street focusing on appealing to the FIFA audience or is this a game that anyone can pick up and play?

Idea is to appeal to both.  We see two key gamers coming to FIFA Street :

  1. People who have been playing FIFA (or club football games) for a while, love their football gaming and are itching for an innovative new way to play football and;
  2. People who want to become part of the FIFA gaming family, but may be late to the game and are intimidated by controls or other more experienced gamers.

The common thread is both groups are people who also love the idea of playing skillful, stylish football – ready to embarrass their opponents, while scoring.

As someone who plays a lot of FIFA is this a game I will be able to easily pick up and play?

In our play-test sessions we have found that people who have played FIFA or new to football gaming are able to pick-up and play quite easily – at least with the basic set of controls.  Of course, passing and shooting will be the same as in FIFA, but the new Street Ball Control mechanics are also quite intuitive to learn.  Mastery will take some practice, but the satisfaction of pulling off the great moves creates the compulsion to learn.

I'm sure you have put a billion of hours of play time in the game but are there any stand out moments for you?

My favourite move right now is the “Freeze 360” – it’s a roulette from the stand-on-ball position, in which you carry the ball on your foot during the roulette.  Not always easy to pull off, but hugely satisfying when you do!  The first time I did it to fake out the keeper and end up behind him with an open net… well, I nearly dropped my controller and ended my FIFA Street career on that high-note!

How much do environments come into play in the experience? Is there a difference in the way each environment handles?

The environments help support the numerous match types and number of players you choose to play with.  At a basic level, they are different sized environments, with varying net sizes.  If you choose to play Futsal, then you’ll end up in an environment without walls – though some environments may have a side of the pitch without a wall, or even a gap in the fence that the ball can go through.

At a more detailed level, the type of surface will affect the physics of the ball, as will the material of the wall (brick, fence, wood, etc).  You can expect different bounces or rolling conditions based on the environment you select.  They will be subtle, but are worth noting to take full advantage of an environment. Are there any plans for DLC for FIFA Street?

No plans at this point for future DLC.  What we wanted to focus on was delivering a great core experience – I think our fans are rightfully skeptical about delivering a great FIFA Street as we haven’t hit it yet, so we didn’t want to detract from our team’s focus.

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