The World Cup is fast approaching and will kick off this summer on June 12. The planet's best national sides featuring true powerhouses (Spain, Brazil, Germany), solid hopefuls (USA, Nigeria, Croatia), some weaker teams (Australia, Honduras, Iran) and everyone in between will clash for the ultimate prize in international football.
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To coincide with this event, which only takes place every four years, EA is releasing its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil standalone title. The developers have given us some details on what to expect before the game comes out in April and the tournament kicks off.
The producer, Matt Prior, says that this will be the "most accessible FIFA game" they've ever made due to delivery method and game modes.
EA Sports is adding game types for super casual players (a two-button control mode for simple play), only releasing on Xbox 360 and PS3 (the largest install bases and most popular systems in host-country Brazil, where next-gen adoption is slow) and releasing it as standalone rather than DLC.
The decision not to release it as DLC is two-fold. For one thing, a lot of people don't opt in to the annual FIFA releases, but get inspired and excited come the World Cup and want a game to play. It is unlikely people would buy FIFA 14 if they didn't already have it and a World Cup Brazil DLC package just to get involved in the excitement, so EA made the decision to market just a World Cup game.
This is likely to annoy some gamers who own FIFA 14 and want to get involved (these are also EA's more loyal players), but a lot of them also steer clear of these World Cup-only titles. The national teams are available in the main FIFA titles (though they are not a focus) and the core gamers are not really the targets of these releases.
The other reason is that EA cannot alter or patch the game if it were released as DLC, and don't want it to inhibit their ability to release and maintain a good product. While I'm slightly skeptical of this reasoning (making the profit off a full-priced game is definitely better than charging for some DLC), it's fair enough if they really can't update the game the way they want as the tournament approaches.
The menus are extremely attractive, splashed with the themed colors of the Brazil World Cup and a painting-style appearance. There will be more game modes to take small teams to World Cup glory or play through real-life qualifying scenarios.
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is due out April 15 on Xbox 360 and PS3 only, and is expected to retail for full price.
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