What is your personal favourite football team/player, and do personal opinions amongst the development team have any bearing on stats in the finished game?
Jamie Toghill: Across our entire team you probably won’t find anyone supporting the same team as another individual. I support Everton who have actually had a solid start to their league campaign this season.
To answer the question of whether our personal opinions have any bearing on stats in the finished game; No, we can’t let our personal opinions have an effect on the stats or attributes of teams or players. That’s why we have a dedicated research group that works tirelessly to keep our extensive database up to date. And the passion within that team is to ensure they are always 110% accurate.
There have been many FIFA games to date; how hard is it to incorporate new game play features into such an established and popular series?
JT: FIFA is the largest selling football franchise in the world. It’s actually very easy indeed to incorporate new ideas and game play features into our game. The harder decision is what do we invest time in and which features will we have to leave on the design board.
Our FIFA team is made up of talented and creative individuals from all over the globe so what we tend to see is that new features and ideas can come from any area of the development team. We also read our forums to see what people want to see in the next installment of FIFA and it’s great when we already have a feature in pre-production that gamers are all asking for.
We do take these comments and suggestions very seriously and often we tend to find we are in complete synergy with what our fans want to see in the game.
Rumours are that you cannot perform tricks in the Xbox 360 version. Is that true or are tricks achievable?
JT: The new physics engine actually promotes user-defined tricks. There are no canned special moves but rather the flexibility for gamers to create their own within the context of what is authentic to Football.
We’ve actually been pleasantly surprised how users are creating their own special moves when we look at videos on the internet.
What would have been the one feature you would love to have included in FIFA 07 if time had been on your side, but we will definitely see appear in FIFA 08?
JT: There are many features that I think each member of our team would have loved to include in FIFA 07. Our new gameplay engine sparked a wide variety of cool new ideas we could build onto this system.
The Lounge aspect of the game is for many what separates FIFA from other football games. How much does the lounge differ from FIFA 06 and what changes if any will we see?
JT: We’ve actually built in more feedback into this year’s Lounge mode because of the new engine. The game tracks all the statistics from each match and now generates ratings based on your performance.
What is the ultimate reason according to you to choose FIFA over PES?
JT: We’re offering something new to the consumer. This is a completely new FIFA with an innovate and unpredictable gameplay engine.
FIFA 07 is a true next generation title which exploits the power of the Xbox 360. We’ve created a sophisticated engine that does so much more than our competitor’s game. If you’re looking for a football game that really showcases your console, then FIFA 07 is it.
In what way did you use the extra capacity of next gen (360) other than just better graphics? And what do you think is the single biggest enhancement over FIFA 06?
JT: The main point of focus this year was to build a new gameplay engine from scratch.
The things our new system does, you just couldn’t do on the current generation of consoles. We’ve really taken full advantage of the Xbox360 technology and our game is truly next generation. We have no legacy code from our older games. So when you ask the question, what is the single biggest enhancement over FIFA 06, it has to be gameplay, gameplay, gameplay!”