Next year will see the return of the world’s biggest sporting event, the World Cup. Once again the world’s eyes will be firmly on the footballing world to see which country will emerge champions of the world. However before the World Cup next year comes around, another momentous event in football will occur. The latest installment of the FIFA Franchise: FIFA 18.
The FIFA franchise has been releasing a new installment every year since 1993, and has gone on to be one of the biggest games in the industry. Last year British newspapers, including the Metro, reported that FIFA 17 broke the franchise selling record in the UK. The latest installment of the game sold 18% more than FIFA 16. FIFA 18 is expected to do just as big business.
What can be expected from the new game? Goal.com revealed that at an EA quarterly financial meeting EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke about the game’s future. He announced: “FIFA 18 will build on the foundation we created with the story mode this year, bringing players back to The Journey with Season 2, featuring new characters and new story lines. Our development team in Vancouver is delivering deeply innovative new experiences across this year’s game, including an Ultimate Team, and creating the most emotionally immersive and connected FIFA we have ever produced.”
This will please fans who enjoyed the Journey in FIFA 17, but felt that it was too short as it only lasted one season. The other key component of FIFA that fans will look forward to seeing is the changes that occur in the player’s stats. These have become invaluable in the online community. Fans will also be checking to see whether the online experience has improved. The popularity of the game has led to online tournaments being screened live on TV and more fans are engaging in the game than ever before. In their long form article on the influence of the game, The Guardian noted that 34% of football fans in the US became fans after playing the game. EA will be hoping to expand this through their next installment.
One of the big questions over the next game is who will be on the cover of the game. From 2013 to 2016, Lionel Messi graced the front covers. He was also the cover star of Pro Evolution Soccer for three years between 2009 and 2011. This is not surprising, as according to journalist Michael Lintorn, writing for Betfair Premier League, Messi alongside Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated world football for close to a decade now. Last year’s cover was chosen by the fans and the winner was German star Marco Reus. Whether FIFA will let the fans choose again is yet to be decided.
FIFA 18 is expected to be released towards the end of September in line with other releases. As 2018 is a World Cup year fans can maybe expect a few tie-ins to the upcoming tournament in Russia. The game is confirmed to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PC.