At last, the real reason Brazil was knocked out of the 2006 World Cup has been revealed - well, providing you believe anything that's printed in The Sun, anyway.
England may still be clinging to the hope of a World Cup win, but the dream is over for EA this week as Rockstar moves back into Liberty City and climbs straight to the top of the charts.
This week's top ten listing is a chart of two halves, football just taking the lead as FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 holds its position at the top of the group yet again.
114672960011500892472006 FIFA World Cup Germany 3DPhoneSony Ericsson W800igame review
EA has managed to defend its position for a fourth consecutive week atop the all-formats sales chart, boosted by the timely launch of a new version of FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 for the PSP.
The Road to the World Cup was as rocky as it's ever been for EA. After some appalling defending and ill-advised tactics, the critics were sharpened their knives in readiness as another blunderous effort went wide. "2/10!" howled an exasperated Bramwell. "Dreadful...a terrible disservice to things that merely inspire dread," he fumed. Even the more generous, forgiving critics and diehard FIFA fans were less than polite in their assessment of EA's first next gen footy title. When even this lot mumble "I'd have given it a 6, personally," you know something's up.
How could the mighty EA turn this one around in less than six months? With the odds stacked against them and a mountain to climb, it would take a turnaround of Middlesbrough proportions to win people over. Last time out, the entire game engine was fundamentally broken in so many ways that it didn't even feel like FIFA anymore, never mind football. Players were too even in their pace, making breakaways almost impossible, possession constantly switched, making the football scrappy and frustrating, and the ball dynamics simply didn't work in any sense that resembled football. Throw in dire frame rate issues, goo-zombie facial likenesses and about 15 per cent of the content of FIFA 06, and it's hardly a great shock that it was greeted like a fat hairy old streaker at the Playboy Mansion. Get out, get out, GET OUT.
Evidently EA's answer to these kinds of problems is to shove another, far better edition out of the door as quickly as possible and hope that we all forget about its past misdemeanours equally swiftly. Well, World Cup is certainly a vast improvement on what went before. It fires in some vicious, dipping volleys of its own that had us leaping out of our seats, but still manages to find some new and interesting ways of tripping over its own bootlaces on the way to scoring a few all-new own goals and gaffs that Nick Hancock himself would be proud to include on his next collection,
The advent of another World Cup tournament is the perfect opportunity for Electronic Arts to make maximum use of its highly lucrative exclusive partnership with world football's governing body FIFA - this week extended to 2014. Love it or loathe it, FIFA is consistently among the very biggest selling titles released in the UK every year, going on to sell millions worldwide. Yet a tournament-specific edition presents unique problems to the US publishing giant.
EA's extended its all-encompassing licence deal with the football world's governing body FIFA.
FIFA foes fumbling for reasons to change their mind about EA's "is it good this week?" football series might want to check out a new demo of the World Cup edition, 2006 FIFA World Cup and see if things have improved.
Electronic Arts has announced that this April will see the arrival of 2006 FIFA World Cup on PC, consoles and handhelds - and has released some screenshots, too.