EA has confirmed the return of the Interactive Leagues feature in the next version of FIFA. A bit of a hit on current-gen last year, the system tots up the results of online games between supporters of different clubs, with points earned going towards an overall league set-up. This time it'll be in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.
"The Interactive Leagues is the most successful online tournament we've had for the FIFA franchise and I am thrilled to bring it into this year's next-gen game," next-gen producer Joe Booth said. "As a Leeds United fan I was pained to see Manchester United win the first Interactive Premier League last season. However, I'm looking forward to redressing the balance this year through FIFA 08."
The Interactive Leagues mentioned in EA's announcement are the FA Premier League, Bundesliga, French League and Mexican 1st Division. When league games are played in real-life, results between the two teams online are logged.
Other current-gen features will be making the hop to next-gen too. "One of my favourite things about Interactive Leagues is how it connects me and the development team with the FIFA gamers via our weekly in-game podcast," Booth adds. "We have just broken the one million downloads mark and it's been a fantastic way to interact with other fans, share experiences and answer questions." Members of the development team often contribute to the podcast to answer gameplay questions.
It's not the only new feature going into the next-gen FIFA 08 though. As you'll know if you read our recent preview, 08 introduces a new skill move system, a "Be A Pro" mode where you control one player in the team and have to concentrate staying onside, making runs and that sort of jazz.
Meanwhile, the current-gen PS2/PC version of FIFA 08 (also previewed) introduces a similar mode with a co-operative element, and the Wii version uses a mixture of buttons and gestures with a new camera perspective. Look out for more on that soon.