2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Q&A

Producer Matt Prior takes us through some of the new features in EA Sports' upcoming World Cup game.

With the Super Bowl finished up, and March Madness about to wrap up, the attention of the world's sports fans will soon shift to the World Cup this summer in South Africa. Thirty-two teams will face off for the ultimate in bragging rights when the tournament kicks off in June. If you can't wait that long, you'll be able to get a taste of what to expect with the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa from EA Sports. The game is coming for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PSP in April, and recently we got a chance to speak with the game's producer, Matt Prior, to learn about some of the newly announced features in the game.

GameSpot: What is Story of the Finals mode?

Matt Prior: We have partnered with Coca-Cola Zero for an ambitious feature called the Coca-Cola Zero Story of the Finals. We will re-create moments from the real World Cup during the actual tournament and will allow gamers to play them out in the game. From June 11 to July 11, as the actual World Cup is taking place in South Africa, we will select the most interesting match scenarios each day, and gamers will be able to download them for free and play them out in the game. For example, if in the real World Cup England were losing to the US with 10 minutes to go but ended up winning with two late Rooney goals, we would re-create that scenario and allow gamers to download it. It may take the form of a scenario where the gamer plays as Rooney and joins the game in the 80th minute in an attempt to re-create Rooney's real-life heroics or alternatively we may choose to let the gamer take control of the US team and try and prevent the loss.

GS: Describe the process of how the team will create these scenarios. How quickly will scenarios be available during the World Cup? How many scenarios will you be creating?

MP: As diehard football fans, we will all be watching every single game during the World Cup. While watching, we'll be taking note of the most exciting games and key incidents, and at the end of each day we'll sit down and decide which ones we want to create. The scenarios will go live within 24 hours after the actual games take place. We need testing time for each, so we can't get them out any sooner than that unfortunately. We are aiming to do a scenario for every game, but nothing has been finalized yet. I think it will be a very popular feature as it directly connects our game to the real World Cup on a daily basis, which is something we have never done before. For those disgruntled fans whose teams don't do too well, it also gives them the opportunity to vent frustration by downloading the game and showing them how things should have happened.

GS: Beyond the obvious of downloading new scenarios, will there be any online component to Story of the Finals mode, such as leaderboards?

MP: Not this time. If it proves popular, it's certainly something we could look at in the future, but I think for a first-time outing it will be enough for gamers just to have the ability to play alongside the actual tournament taking place on their TV.

GS: What scenarios will be part of the Story of Qualifying mode?

MP: There are lots, as the actual qualifying process created a lot of interesting opportunities. We actually had a tough time picking them as there were so many we could have done. I don't want to spoil the surprise completely, but there are over 50 to choose from, and they include scenarios from all of the different confederations. One of the great things about this mode is that it allows gamers to play with teams that they may not ordinarily pick, so they'll get to see all the different environments and stadiums in the game. Some of the more memorable ones we have included are Argentina's visit to Bolivia and having to deal with the issues of playing at high altitude; the historic playoff between bitter rivals Egypt and Algeria (the first time in the history of the World Cup a playoff of that kind has happened); the USA's visit to the Azteca in Mexico in a must-win scenario for the home side; and who can forget the game between France and Ireland in Paris and the now infamous Thierry Henry handball incident.

As an added bonus, completing each of the scenarios earns points which go towards unlocking the extra scenarios. The unlockable bonus scenarios are all from the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, and we all know how memorable that was. Remember the incident in the final!

Relive your favorite World Cup qualifying moments.

GS: Elsewhere in the game, we've seen the composure meter that will be used with penalty kicks. What kind of fan feedback have you seen on this feature? Have there been any tweaks to the system based on this feedback?

MP: There was a lot of feedback and tweaks required on the new penalty kick system, as it is such a step forward to what gamers are used to. We actually ended up putting in a training mode, as we were finding gamers were missing almost every kick because they were not used to the added accuracy and control of the new system. The composure meter was all part of that tuning and feedback and is one of the features that help us emphasize the pressure of taking a penalty kick. Each player has a different composure setting in the database, and in addition to that, the composure meter will also be affected depending upon the importance of the kick. If it's simply a kick to extend a big lead in a friendly match, then there is not much pressure. If it's the kick to win the World Cup, that's an entirely different matter, and the composure meter will relay that to the user. The feedback on the new system has been hugely positive so far.

GS: What new features in FIFA 2010 will we recognize once FIFA 11 is released later this year?

MP: We have a central gameplay team that continually refines and improves the gameplay experience for all of our football titles. It's all part of continuing the evolution of the EA football games so they get better and better with each iteration. The gameplay improvements in World Cup will certainly feature in FIFA, as they make the game that much better. FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa represent the best football game EA has ever produced, so we are not going to throw all of that effort away. Likewise, we put a lot of effort into the new penalty kick system, so we will consider carrying this over as well. In terms of modes, there are clearly a lot in World Cup that relate to just the World Cup, so they won't feature, but everything we do to improve the gameplay experience will be carried over.

GS: Tell us about Captain Your Country mode.

MP: Captain Your Country is a mode based around achieving the ultimate goal of any professional footballer and that is captaining your nation to World Cup glory and being the one who lifts the trophy at the end of it all. You play as an individual player, which creates a unique spin on gameplay. You can play as one of the real-world players, create a new player, or even bring your virtual pro in from FIFA. If you choose to create a player or bring in your virtual pro, you also have the added bonus of being able to grow your player. As you play well and move up the rankings from B team player all the way to the first team squad, your player's attributes will improve. Most of the producers chose to create a player, as we have also added thousands of new commentary names that you can assign. There is nothing quite like hearing the commentator shout your name as you score, so the created players make it that much more special. The mode is a local multiplayer mode for up to four players, and that also creates a unique spin on gameplay. As a team, you are all competing for the same prize: to take your team through the entire qualifying campaign and onto World Cup glory. The subplot, however, is that you are all competing on an individual level for the captaincy, so while you must all play as a team, the other players are your direct rivals for the ultimate prize. These competing goals create some very interesting and entertaining games and a very different gameplay experience than many will be used to.

GS: Players can use either existing stars or created players in Captain Your Country mode. We've seen this option in Be a Pro modes in other games, but I'm wondering if you have any data that shows how often people use one or the other?

MP: We do track data surrounding these things, as it helps us develop features that gamers want and ensures we focus our efforts in the areas most people use. Making created players has become more popular since we have put more features surrounding it. In FIFA 10, there were 2.8 million virtual pros created, and 770,000 of these players utilized the photo game face feature through easportsfootballworld.com.

You will always get users who want to play as their heroes, and that's perfectly fine, but using a created player has its own unique personal feel in my opinion. In Captain Your Country on World Cup, for example, we have added another 6,000 player names that users can assign to their player. If you are lucky enough to have a name that features in that long list (and most people probably will), then you can give your created player your own name and hear the commentator shout it as you score. You'll also see your name feature in news headlines in the Fifa.com screen we have incorporated in the game. It's just a couple of the things that makes using a created player that much more satisfying. Additionally, using a created player also allows you to grow his attributes, which is something you can't do with an existing player, so he'll develop as the game progresses.

A new penalty kick system will put big import on player composure.

We'll always support both, but as we continue to develop the created player and make the process much more user-friendly, with features like game face and so on, I think you'll likely find more and more people gravitating towards creating themselves. In Captain Your Country, if you are good enough, you get to see yourself lift the World Cup surrounded by the real-world team. How cool is that!

GS: Thanks for your time, Matt.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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74 comments
kingmarho
kingmarho

how dose my virtual pro become a all-star player

MattB98
MattB98

This game looks amazing, i just want to know if you can do some step overs and stuff like that.

edflinkinp
edflinkinp

My I ask why EA did not consider releasing this game on PC? Are they heavily working on improving the DISASTER of FIFA 10 on PC or did they just turn their backs on us once for all? Shame on them. I hope it's the first opcion.

Sir2Tears
Sir2Tears

I have never owned a FIFA game nor do I watch soccer but I tried the demo and I might actually pick this up.

DarkBuhamut
DarkBuhamut

Looks like another game ill be picking up. Just can't resist FIFAs lately, they've really upped their game(s)

danielm19
danielm19

this game looks ok think i will have too give it a go as i love all the fifas and have played every fifa since i was like 4

PurplePonyPants
PurplePonyPants

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

this is gonna be the best world cup and football game ever!

COD2-The_Pope
COD2-The_Pope

@krookd: I'm asuming they will as they've got all 199 national teams that played in the qualifiers and all of those teams are fully liscensed.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

@pajislav Sure the games are awesome, I had to force myself not to buy Fifa 10 because I knew they would release the World Cup version pretty soon, but if I want the complete club version I'll have to buy the same game (gameplay wise) again. I recently bought PES '10 because I was waiting for this FIFA, and was saddened to see that I could had stuck to my '09 copy because it's the same. They all do it but I don't agree on how they do it.

krookd
krookd

Will they have the actual Netherlands team?

pajislav
pajislav

@Junior_AIN In some hand you are right.I played FIFA since 97 i think they started making world cup since 98 which was an great game one of the best in the series.Ever since than they had to make an world cup and an euro cup version of the game the 1st reason was money like you said and second reason is because they games were good everybody who likes world cup would buy it.Its same thing over here, they are making fifa 10:new season improved game play a new fresh game ,than FIWC 2010;over 180 nations (lets say 10 000 a nation its 1 800 000+ dollars)i mean i will buy this because its world cup i dont know can you understand it.Than they just publish a new fifa with new gameplay and probably new game modes so again they have a mill. seller so there is no reason (if there are good games )to publish it

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

@pajislav Of course there's national teams and clubs, but that's no reason to release 3 games in practically one year. Nothing is stopping them from putting everything together in one game. You're the one who have a problem with logic, I have the right to say whatever I want, and just because they've been doing it for a while doesn't make it acceptable. If you think so just makes you a conformist. They're after your money and you're giving it to them, it's not my problem really.

pajislav
pajislav

@Junior_AIN Its maybe because there are clubs and national teams and maybe because its not logical to not make an club football game in a new season.Your idea everything but not logical and if somebody dosent want to buy this why are they even saying that this is not even supposed to be published just dont buy and shut up because there are other people who want to play with 180 + nations and if they were doing with this normal fifa and FWC for more than 14 years why would they stop now

ali-009
ali-009

@nero212121 I think you are crazy.

Sablicious
Sablicious

Good-looking penalty system. I just hope the problems with trying to score in full manual control and the 'manual Vs auto on-line' stupidity is fixed.

nero212121
nero212121

t think -EA- sport games bad - I think konami-pes best sport games

PcGamingRig
PcGamingRig

the world cup on the GS homepage looks like a kakuna

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

So instead of trying to do something about piracy, you just cut off the PC version? I am surprised at the number of negative votes I got for demanding a PC version in an earlier comment. There will always be pirates. Console games get pirated, too. But "not releasing PC version" is not the solution. If the publishers can make games cheaper and improve the distribution network, no one will buy pirated versions that lack multiplay, manuals, access to DLC and nice packaging.

pakrulz
pakrulz

Well until Pakistan makes it to the world cup ill have to keep supporting Brazil!

bobasweat
bobasweat

not jealousy mate. just despise your media's arrogance when it comes to football

Pugberto3122
Pugberto3122

Doesn't surprise me that there are Scotland fans in here who are jealous that we made it to the World Cup. Live with the fact that we are better than you.

Henriquex
Henriquex

to esperando muito por esse jogo ele ta 10!!!!!

Henriquex
Henriquex

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Subacetylene
Subacetylene

@Junior_AIN This is EA we are talking about and when it comes to their sports games they mean business.

AszaultSin
AszaultSin

I liked the last one, i will try it before buying :)

bond007_gamer
bond007_gamer

SORRY! but it doesn't look impressive. composure meter is also not a gr8 thing to have. composure can just be decided by how long you press shoot button and how well you aim. its just that they want to add new useless things to sell another game.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

If the World Cup was near then why did they release Fifa 10 and now another Fifa 10? And still just warming up for Fifa 11 still this year? Why so many games in such short period of time? They should have skipped Fifa 10, then released this special Fifa in the World Cup year. And no need for another Fifa in the near future.

bobasweat
bobasweat

aye very good Dr L4m1ngt0n truth is no-one knows, but we can but only hope it's career ending

L4m1ngt0n
L4m1ngt0n

Maak lekker, Bafana Bafana! Laduuuuuuuuma!

L4m1ngt0n
L4m1ngt0n

"This game's the only way Rooney's going to be playing for England this summer" Do you watch football? His foot should be ready in two weeks. footie players usually end up being back on the pitch before the anticipated injury absence.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

@S1MSTA you don't know it, it is a money trap and dump gamers buy them for no reason. Same game, same concept. I already wrote a blog about these useless game sequel. Check it out.

vega13mv
vega13mv

when Mexico plays, they should have the crowd yell "PUUUUTOOO!" whenever the opposing goalie does his goal kick, just like in real life! :)

bobasweat
bobasweat

"For example, if in the real World Cup England were losing to the US with 10 minutes to go but ended up winning with two late Rooney goals" this games the only way rooney's getting to play for england this summer. hahahaha. show us yer foot fatboy

kenyal
kenyal

This sounds really good but I hope that EA is going to put a demo for us to get a really feel of this game.

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

never liked FIFA games and never will. PES are the REAL soccer games.

Gabez_R
Gabez_R

And I hope you can hear vuvuzelas while your playing :P

Gabez_R
Gabez_R

I am so proud to say im South African.

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

"With the Super Bowl finished up, and March Madness about to wrap up, the attention of the world's sports fans will soon shift to the World Cup this summer in South Africa. " I have news for you, nobody watches the Super Bowl outside usa

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Subacetylene
Subacetylene

The main difference between this and FIFA 10 is that FIFA 10 doesn't have all the countries. FIFA world cup caters more towards national games and such while Fifa 10 focuses on the leagues within the countries. Hey its EA this is expected.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

for the first time ever i think im looking forward to a penalty shoot out

goheat
goheat

"GS: What new features in FIFA 2010 will we recognize once FIFA 11 is released later this year? MP: We have a central gameplay team that continually refines and improves the gameplay experience for all of our football titles. It's all part of continuing the evolution of the EA football games so they get better and better with each iteration. The gameplay improvements in World Cup will certainly feature in FIFA, as they make the game that much better. FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa represent the best football game EA has ever produced, so we are not going to throw all of that effort away. Likewise, we put a lot of effort into the new penalty kick system, so we will consider carrying this over as well. In terms of modes, there are clearly a lot in World Cup that relate to just the World Cup, so they won't feature, but everything we do to improve the gameplay experience will be carried over. " Hmm, a lot of words that say very little. I guess he couldn't just tell us what are the gameplay improvements?