2013 is now done and Fifa 14 Coins dusted for most places around the world and it’s been one of the biggest years on record for FIFA. A new engine, new consoles, new sales records and most important of all; Futhead News was born. So, without further a do lets take a whistle-stop-tour of all the major sights and sounds to greet us over the last 12 months. It’s been quite a ride.
January 2013 started off with a bang for FUT Players as EA for the very first time released the “100k Jumbo Pack” containing 24 players, all rare and all gold. As we all know, you’re highest card was probably Lucas Leiva like us, but the thought was certainly there and 100k packs soon became a staple of the biggest FUT business in 2013.
The other major piece of news for January was that FIFA 13 had surpassed 14.5million sales world-wide beating it’s younger brother FIFA 12 by 23%. EA’s digital revenue also soared for the year leaping a monumental 98%. Probably something to do with those 100k packs.
One the January Transfer Window had closed, February was all about the big roster update which eventually updated FIFA 13’s game modes during the second week of the month. It was also a time of award success for FIFA 13 which after winning the D.I.C.E Sports Game of the Year was then nominated for a BAFTA. The post image alone on that one makes it worth a click.
It was also the month of capture sessions for FIFA 14 with EA’s team of photographers visiting countless teams across Europe including Marseille, Lyon and PSG. The latter of course being the most important due to the arrival of FIFA eye-candy extraordinaire, David Beckham.
March was a little quiet in all honesty but the FIWC Tournament began to pick-up the pace with qualifiers happening in the Europe and America. There was also more sales success for FIFA 13, which became the second biggest entertainment launch in 2012 after being out-gunned ever so slightly by Call of Duty Black Ops II.
There was much licensing speculation too, with Fenerbache, Shaktar and others doing the rounds on many sites. Thankfully rumour, became reality as the newly licensed Brazilian clubs were confirmed for FIFA 14. More great licensing news was of course yet to come.
After a quiet start to the year, the FIFA 14 hype train finally left the station with the arrival of the first batch of hands on previews and gameplay feature reveals. This year EA were focussing heavily on fundamental gameplay with new features like Protect the Ball, Player Physics and Pure Shot leading the way. We certainly left Guildford impressed after EA’s demo but there was still a long way left until release.
There was also a first glimpse of Career Mode’s new look UI and what really got the pulses racing was a new Team Management screen, which sadly didn’t represent the dramatic overhaul we’d all hoped and prayed for. Perhaps FIFA 15 eh?
The month of May put FUT back on the map as the Team of the Season blue cards hit the mode on May 8th, sparking Transfer Market hysteria. The promotion would continue for much of the month eventually ending with an EA staff All-Star pick. Bruce Grannec won the FIWC and EA extended their FIFA license to 2022 securing our fun for another 10 years.
News also hit that FIFA 14 would not be making an appearance on Wii U which disappointed all four people who bought the last version, but the biggest news in May was just over the horizon…
At the Xbox One Reveal Event Next-Gen FIFA 14 was unveiled, running on EA’s new Ignite engine which would power the all new Elite Technique and Living Worlds features. Details, videos and screen shots then flooded the web and all of a sudden made FIFA 13 a distant memory.
And of course we officially joined Team Futhead. Woop.
June began with the first official FIFA 14 Trailer ahead of the big E3 2013 press conference in LA which brought even more Next-Gen FIFA 14 content to our door in the form of a new trailer, interviews, screens an official press release and box art.
We went hands-on with FIFA 14 for the first time too posting our gameplay impressions part 1 and part 2.
There was also big movement in the FIFA 14 Mobile space which would feature a brand new gesture based control system and it would include FUT Seasons for the first time too. We later found out that the core mobile offering would be free.
In June EA also announced that they’d be bringing back Custom Club editions for FIFA 14 which started in Spain with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Betis and many others available to the paying public. And we discovered sad news, FIFA 14 would be the last ever game on PS2, perhaps the most crushing news of 2013.
July was the month of the FIFA 14 cover star reveals with Hernandez, Lewandowski, Vidal and Bale all confirmed to be alongside leading man Leo Messi on the box art in 2013. A big partnership deal with Barcelona also followed later in the month cementing EA’s ties with the Catalan club.
FIFA’s 20th Anniversary was also upon us and in a two part series we trawled through every major title to be released as well as choosing some of our favourites.
But best of all, EA announced their cross-generation plans and confirmed that pretty much all of our key data like FUT players, coins, items and season’s progress would all seamlessly move between Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One and PS4. There would also be a one-time transfer available for FIFA Points. Bonus.
August was the month of licensing with the Chilean league confirmed and Shaktar Donestk’s Donbass and Everton’s Goodison Park included as part of a big stadium accuracy update.
It was also the month of Gamescom of course which brought with it more Next-Gen content and the much anticipated FIFA 14 Demo Date announcement. There was a brand new current-gen trailer, a delicious next-gen Living Worlds trailer and EA unveiled their new Legend Players for FUT 14 which would be exclusive to Xbox 360 and Xbox One. FUT Web App Access would start on Sep 15th.
August ended with a flurry of FIFA 14 Career Mode information with your very own Futhead News securing the world-wide reveal. We went hands-on and provided a run-down of all the new features coming to EA’s management simulation mode.
In September FUT 14 Launched on Futhead, the FIFA 14 TV Advert went live and there were EA SPORTS partnership deals for Liverpool and Aston Villa too.
Now, it was all about the big FIFA 14 launch and September was awash with stadium, league, team, achievement and soundtrack lists. It was also the month which saw the release of the FIFA 14 Demo on Xbox 360 and PS3 which of course got community tongues wagging.
Just before the games official release date there was some belated Pro Clubs news and of course the EA SPORTS Season Ticket early access promotion opened for business offering FIFA 14 early for those who were members.
There were league and stadium videos released by EA, FIFA14 Reviews rolled in, including our own “great out of ten” effort. And predictably, because it’s FIFA, there was a day one patch too which was aimed at resolving some early stability issues. Problems with “freezing” on the Xbox would sadly continue for a few weeks yet.
We also played Carl Jenkinson, and gave away a signed shirt. Aren’t we nice?
October saw the release of FIFA 14’s second patch which pleasingly aimed to address issues identified by the community such as over-powered through balls, headers, finesse shots and the freezing issues, which were continuing to rile up the FIFA YouTube community.
A full FUT 14 Legends list was also released which was met largely with “Where’s R9 Ronaldo?” The moaning didn’t last long though as the first FIFA 14 Next-Gen Previews hit the web and the vast majority of early players were incredibly pleased with it, including Tom even after he battled against the “newness”.
Right at the end of October EA also let slip in a call to investors that FIFA World Cup 2014 was in development back in Vancouver and although incredibly obvious and assumed by many, it was nice to have it officially confirmed.
November was all about Next-Gen consoles as both the Xbox One and PS4 launched around the world, selling like the hottest of hot-cakes and of course FIFA 14 was at the forefront of the sales campaign. The first Reviews rolled in and the Next-Gen TV commercial also aired for the first time showcasing a super lifelike Leo Messi in someone’s living room.
To accompany the Legends Player List in October EA also released the Legend Player ratings in November with Pele leading the charge at a whopping 95 OVR. There were details on Next-Gen Career Mode bonuses to soften the fact that saves didn’t cross-over to next-gen consoles, and the FUT Web App got a big update to match its console counterpart more closely finally including the player name search.
The quietest month in the FIFA calendar soon rolled around with next-gen feedback being the key activity in the first few weeks. A div bought a picture of an Xbox One on Ebay for ￡450, a FIFA 14 title update for next-gen consoles arrived and we kicked off our new feedback series with our Career Mode FIFA 15 wishlist which will continue in to January 2014 rest assured.
Here’s to FIFA World Cup 2014, FIFA 15 and beyond….