FIFA 10 Features

FIFA 10

Kicking our way through EA Canada.

Five years ago, it would have shocked no one. Turning up at a FIFA event in London and being introduced to a set-piece creator would have made perfect sense. It's another line for the back of the box. Five years later though, perhaps it should be shocking. Nowadays you almost get the sense that FIFA developers David Rutter and Gary Paterson delight in making the box designers squirm. "I'm militant," creative director Paterson tells me as we sit down in one of EA Canada's many conference rooms a month later. "I'm not doing anything just for the back of the box. It has to be somehow linked to a fundamental of the game." And by the game, he means football.

FIFA 10

EA shows the Create-A-Set-Piece system. Freer kick!

"So that was why you could only turn 45 degrees," FIFA producer Dave Rutter tells me, brow furrowed, while sliding two mobile phones around a table. He's trying to explain - aided by whatever was in his pockets - how the animation system had to change to accommodate the introduction of 360-degree control.

E3: FIFA 10

Early kickoff.

Transforming any star performer into a true champion can often come down to the minor details: tweaking, polishing and refining an existing set of skills to eke out that extra couple of per cent. It's a challenge that now faces EA Canada, the development team behind the current undisputed king of football simulations, the FIFA franchise. After FIFA 09 cemented the series' dominance over the increasingly identikit Pro Evolution Soccer, EA Canada finds itself faced with the unenviable task of improving its already excellent football formula.