That title doesn’t really make sense, I just wanted to squeeze in some football related words. What I meant to say is; the new FIFA game (FIFA10) is due for release next week and I just wanted to highlight some of the great ways it has been making the most of this whole social media thing to spread the good word.
There’s no point in me going on about the 360-degree dribbling, the improved AI, or the customisable set-pieces. Nor the quick free kicks, realistic transfers in manager mode, or the new filtering system for online games. There are plenty of other places that do that much better than I ever could and if you’re bothered about that type of thing, you’ll be able to find them quite easily. No, what I wanted to briefly mention was the promotional tools being used to, err, promote the game. There’s been a noticeable increase in ‘social media’ based activity by EA this year, and some of it is rather nifty indeed.
Even the standard stuff like blogs that you’d expect from any self respecting company in 2009 is worth a mention. On the FIFA Blog, the development team have gradually been revealing more and more detail about the game over the past few months, delivering just enough information to satisfy the readers, but never actually giving the whole game away (get it?). Together with the official EA forums, the blog has been an active space in which the developers have been able to directly answer questions and address feedback from gamers. The discussions have taken place all summer long but have been of particular use since the release of the demo of the game with users voicing a range of compliments/concerns to the dev team. Whether there is any time in the production schedule to actually take notice of the feedback is another matter, but at least it’s there.
But the real joy of this campaign comes via the various interactions on twitter. As well as the generic EA FIFA twitter account, prominent members of the development team are active in the 140 character world and they’re successfully whipping the twitter masses into a frenzy. That’s all well and good, but beyond that, EA have created ‘FIFA Earth‘, which is great.
It’s currently in beta, with the promise of more features after the game goes on general release but even in it’s early incarnation, it’s quite a fun tool. Basically, it plots tweets about FIFA onto an interactive globe and looks pretty. That’s all there is to it, and on reflection, that doesn’t seem like much haha :), but it inspired me to start this post so it gets a thumbs up from me!
There’s also something to be said about the ‘Virtual Pro’ feature of the game, but I’ll save that for next time…