There has been a lot of talk recently about the ballooning cost of video games, but EA is set to take a very different approach with the latest incarnation of its most famous sporting series...
The publisher has announced development 'FIFA Online' - a 'free-to-play' downloadable addition to its wildly popular football, sorry, soccer series. The game will target the mass market and require just "a broadband internet connection and an average spec laptop computer or desk-top personal computer" to play. EA hopes to make money from incremental payments such as for new kits, squad updates and so forth.
“Listening to and engaging football fans has been one of the driving forces behind the success of our FIFA franchise and now we are inviting European football fans - in mass numbers and earlier than we ever have before--to help us develop a new football game,” said Executive Producer Kaz Makita. “Fans will determine the features that matter most, and at the end of this process, our goal is to deliver a game for fans looking for a quick football fix at home or at work.”
“There are a large number of football fans who do not want a console gaming experience due to time and other priorities in their personal lives but they still want to be able to play a top-quality football videogame,” added Makita. “FIFA Online will be designed specifically for them.”
Starting 3 February EA will invite European gamers to participate in a closed deta of FIFA online (sign-up link below) for more than 20,000 fans. An open European beta will then kick-off (pun very much intended) in June followed by a staggered global rollout. What are you waiting for?
In related totally free news EA has also announced Command & Conquer 4 Tiberian Twilight has gone into a free open multiplayer beta prior to the game's release on 19 March (16 March in the US). So, once again: waiting, why are you doing that?