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FIFA team eyes playable TV replays

Football "dream" revealed.

EA has outlined its "dream" for FIFA - synching up with a live game to offer playable replays of the action fans have just witnessed. And EA Sports' marketing boss reckons the huge technical challenges involved will be overcome "very soon".

"The dream will be that you can watch that Sky Sports replay, you're watching it through your Xbox 360 and at half time or during the game you press the controller, dive straight into the game and actually then play out what you've just seen," FIFA marketing boss Matt Bilby told Eurogamer TV.

EA already has a deal with ESPN in the US, with the broadcaster using Madden to recreate game highlights. But Bilby explained the relative complexity of football makes it a much tougher nut to crack.

"[There's] 22 players, 22 AI running around on the pitch at the same time," he said. "Madden benefited from the fact that it's very stop-start and the players line up in a formation that you can create straight away and there's only a certain amount of things that could happen.

"With football there's randomness with 22 players, and if you don't replicate every player in the right position at the right time, facing the right way with the right movement of legs it just looks inauthentic. That's the biggest challenge - actually being able to recreate it in a way you as a football fan would believe it, and it is a real analysis tool rather than just something that looks nice."

With FIFA 10 out next week, Bilby revealed that EA is having serious discussions about the long-term direction of the franchise, not just next year's version.

"We have outstanding meetings now where we're not talking about FIFA 12 or FIFA 13, we're talking further out and we're being very thoughtful about what we need to do now so that we continue leading and creating the games we want to play, you want to play," he said.

"There's 300 million people in the world that paid to interact with a football game last year. We don't sell 300 million copies of FIFA, so until we're at that level we haven't got to the biggest potential of this franchise."

You can watch our full feature on the making of FIFA over on Eurogamer TV now. FIFA 10 is out on all major formats on 2nd October.