Fifa: From Humble Origins to Worldwide Dominance

Fifa: From Humble Origins to Worldwide Dominance

The Fifa Story

FIFA is a true gaming institution. It's been around longer than many gamers have been alive. But where did it all begin, and how did it evolve into the slick beast that is FIFA 16?

It started on the MegaDrive in 1993

FIFA Internation Soccer 1993

The game we now know for its photo-realistic graphics had humble beginnings. The original FIFA International Soccer was released in December 1993 on the SEGA MegaDrive. (It was soon ported to just about every other platform.)

With 4-player modes, an isometric viewpoint and amazing animation for the time, FIFA was a massive hit that Christmas - and a new series was born.

The leap to 3D graphics

FIFA 2000 player faces

The ’96 edition was the first time FIFA moved to 3D graphics on the PlayStation, PC and SEGA Saturn versions.

For FIFA 2000, EA worked out how to texture-map players’ faces on to their game models.

“The guy who did it was so pleased that he got the player’s face, printed it out life size, cut out eyeholes and wore it on his face for the rest of the day,” says FIFA Art Director Matt Jones.

Even EA admits PES was better than FIFA

Pro Evolution Soccer

In the early 2000s, the gaming press would slate each annual FIFA game while praising its rival, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer (PES).

Today, EA admits PES was better back then.

“We haven’t always been the best game around,” says FIFA Senior Producer Nick Channon. “The hardcore preferred Pro Evo back in the day.”

FIFA 08 was a turning point

With FIFA 08, EA turned a corner in its battle with PES by focusing on gameplay instead of headline features.

FIFA 08 is, on the whole, a triumph,” said Eurogamer’s review of FIFA 08. The rise of the FIFA we know and love today had begun.

The sales figures don't lie

Whatever you think about FIFA, there's one thing nobody can deny. It scores incredible sales numbers year in, year out.

The first game, back in 1993, sold 500,000 copies in its first month in Europe - an amazing figure at the time. FIFA 16 sold almost a million in its first week, just in the UK - and those numbers were considered disappointing!

But with millions still playing night after night, we can expect FIFA’s annual instalments for many more years to come.

With the rise of VR, who knows what FIFA 2026 will look like?

Comments
Latest Articles
12 hours ago
What are the different PS4 models?

If you're having trouble identifying which PS4 model you own or you're interested in grabbing a PS4 for some retro gaming, this guide is for you.  Although each PS4 model can play all PS4 games, there are subtle differences such as whether your TV is 4K compatible, how much storage you think you'll need, and whether you plan on introducing PSVR to your home set-up. Whatever your requirements, it's good to stay informed so you can lay the PS4 vs PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim debate to rest.

Continue reading
15 hours ago
Christmas Gaming Gift Guide 2022

The festive period is here so we're picking our must-buy gifts this Christmas with the best games, accessories and console bundles!

Continue reading
1 day ago
New Holiday Xbox Series S Gilded Hunter Bundle is out now

Released on November 29th 2022, the Xbox Series S Gilded Hunter bundle will be a top-selling bundle for Christmas 2022. The bundle contains three hugely popular franchises, Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys with added bonus content to help sweeten the deal.

Continue reading
6 days ago
Black Friday 2022 TV Deals for Xbox Series X and PS5

Black Friday is the best time to grab a brand new TV for your set-up; so we've rounded up the best deals for Black Friday 2022 for you.

Continue reading
An update is available
An update is available to improve your app experience

We've pushed some shiny new code to make your browsing experience even better.