EA unveils FIFA Online

Free-to-play footy due this June.

EA Sports this morning revealed FIFA Online, a free-to-play, web-based PC title "aimed at football fans, not just gamers".

The title, which goes into closed beta next month with open beta kicking-off in the summer, was unveiled to journalists by EA Sports top dog Peter Moore, at an event held at third-rate Premier League stadium Stamford Bridge.

FIFA Online uses the FIFA 10 engine and takes advantage of the full FIFA database, including content for the forthcoming World Cup title, covering 30 licensed leagues, 500 teams and 15,000 players. Three game modes will feature - World Cup, League and Versus - plus a simple 'mouse-play' control for n00bs and "adaptable difficulty".

Moore said that while FIFA already reached 10 million gamers, he wanted to snag more of the 2 billion global football audience, and FIFA Online would appeal to those who can't afford a console or an HDTV, and don't have a top-spec PC. The game has been built to run on "average spec laptops".

The publisher hopes to build a big online community and promised events linked to real matches. "It's a living game," according to line producer Aaron Blunt, and "critical to the growth of EA Sports," in Moore's words.

Moore said his ambition was for everyone be able to have "a sports experience regardless of platform or budget". Hopefully one a bit better than his experience as a Liverpool fan this season.

FIFA Online's open beta is scheduled for June.

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Johnny Minkley

Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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