FIFA 08 PS2 developer blog #02

17 Aug, 2007

Jochen Siess, FIFA 08 (PS2), Online Producer
Hi there! My name is Jochen and I am the Front End and Online producer for FIFA 08 on PS2. I was born and raised in Germany, and I’ve been a football fan all of my life. I love going to the stadium and seeing live football together with my friends. World Cup 2006 in my home country was definitely my personal highlight so far. Being together with friends and fans from all over the world watching great performances on the pitch was priceless and is unforgettable.

This is my third year as a producer at EA and FIFA, and it is my first time in charge of Online. I was really excited to work on this area because there are so many opportunities to connect with other gamers. Last year we started to add more meaning to each online match by introducing Interactive Leagues with fans rallying around their clubs. When playing online this year, you can not only play Interactive Leagues but you can also form or join a Football Club. Each club consists of up to 15 of your friends or other gamers, and each of your ranked matches can help your club.

The ultimate goal of Football Clubs is to get your club to the top of the table. You can do so by playing and winning online matches. Depending on whether you play ranked Play Now matches, Interactive Leagues matches or Club Battle matches, you earn different amounts of points for your club. Over the course of production we optimized the club points system a couple of times with the goal of being able to earn most points for your club when winning ranked matches. FIFA beginners can team up with more experienced gamers and both contribute to the success of their club. Every match won for your club will get you points for your club. The Football Club with the most points will be at the top of the table.

What I like about Football Clubs is that you have an added incentive to play online matches. Of course, there is also the rivalry aspect of who is going to be the best player of your club. However, rather than collecting points for yourself only, you can now join a club and accomplish something together. The better organized your club is, the easier it will be to collect more and more points. Club Battles require some organization: Multiple club members have to be online at the same time and sign up for a battle. The amount of points your club earns for winning a battle is way more than a single player could earn by playing matches by oneself.

This is the basic idea we had with Football Clubs. Even though the online matches are still played one player versus another player, we wanted to find a way to bring a group of gamers together and give them the opportunity to achieve a common goal. If you think long-term and about the way FIFA is going to go over the next years, this is the first step required to make future 11 versus 11 matches work, with 22 gamers online at the same time. Football Clubs is a step away from being a single fighter in the online football world and another step towards an online team of 11 individuals with a common objective.

On top of all that, Football Clubs is just simply very fun to play. Trying to become the best gamer in your club and trying to become the best club of the table is quite addictive and I played countless matches trying to do just that. I also spent way too much of my work time trying to “Get the Cup”, a mini game we introduced with Football clubs in which you can challenge other teams for trophies.

I can’t wait for the FIFA 08 online experience to start. Interactive Leagues and Football Clubs will give me a challenge and something to participate in every day. I love the thrill of playing against another gamer because you never know what trick your opponent is going to pull off next. This guy or girl might be halfway across the globe but this is the extra kick I get out of playing FIFA online: Whenever I win an online match, it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment because I just beat another human being. Let’s bring it on! Now more than ever is the time to show your skills in the FIFA Online arena. See you guys out there!


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