Rooney, Kaka named FIFA 12 global cover stars

Manchester United striker and Brazilian midfielder lead soccer sim packaging athletes; region-specific athletes named.

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Last week, Electronic Arts reported revenues of $999 million for its latest quarter, helped in part by the continuing success of FIFA 11, which has sold a massive 15 million units through June. Now, the publisher is talking about FIFA 12, having announced global and region-specific cover athletes for the game.

Rooney doing what he does best.
Rooney doing what he does best.

For the first time ever, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will front the cover of the North American iteration of FIFA 12. Joining him on the cover will be two additional players that will be named in mid-August. The other global cover athlete for FIFA 12 is Brazilian attacking midfielder Kaka.

As is regular for the FIFA franchise, the cover athletes vary from region to region. The full global cover athlete roster is below.

FIFA 12 is due out in North America on September 27, followed by a worldwide bow on September 30. EA Sports has updated the franchise in FIFA 12 with a new Player Impact Engine, as well as new dribbling mechanics in an effort to deliver a more realistic touch on the ball.

Defense has likewise been tweaked, with a greater emphasis being placed on position play and ball interception. The publisher is also introducing the EA Sports Football Club feature, a free service that offers news and updates on the real-world sport.

EA Sports also said that it has updated the game's Career mode. With FIFA 12, players will be able to live out storylines taken from real-world events. Career mode also boasts more than 500 officially licensed clubs. For more on the upcoming title, check out GameSpot's latest preview of FIFA 12.

FIFA 12 cover athlete by region (with more to be named later):

Global: Wayne Rooney and Kaka.
North America: Wayne Rooney and two others to be named in mid-August.
United Kingdom: Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere.
Spain: Gerard Pique and Xabi Alonso.
Russia: Vasili Berezutski and Kaka.
France: Wayne Rooney, Karim Benzema, and Philippe Mexes.
Italy: Wayne Rooney, Giampaolo Pazzini, and Philippe Mexes.
Australia: Wayne Rooney, Tim Cahill, and Kaka.
Hungary: Balazs Dzsudzsak.
Germany: Mats Hummels.

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