The games will be available in both Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) versions, as well as a colour WAP version designed to take advantage of new color-screen handsets. They will be distributed through Digital Bridges’ UNITY platform, which is ideal for projects spanning multiple territories due to the platform’s ability to offer optimised content to all users, regardless of their location, regional infrastructure, handset or local language.
FIFA and Electronic Arts (EA) SPORTS have established EA FIFA Football as the number one football gaming brand by far, generating over $1 billion in retail sales since 1993. The games being published in cooperation with Digital Bridges are among the first EA SPORTS™ FIFA-branded games to be available via mobile phones, and distribution through Orange will allow the games to reach an enormous audience, encompassing an extremely broad cross-section of mobile phone owners outside the traditional ‘gaming’ market.
The first EA SPORTS™ 2002 FIFA World Cuptm game is a simple yet addictive game for one or two players. The game places the player/s in the boots of one of the national teams competing in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japantm, with the option of playing either a quick single match or joining the tournament at the beginning and attempting to take the team all the way to the FIFA World Cuptm final at Yokohama. Players must use their skill and judgement to make attacking moves such as passing and volleying in an attempt to score, while defending players can tackle or intercept the ball. The game will allow players to set up their own private FIFA World Cuptm competitions with up to eight individual players, allowing a group of friends to play against each other. Alternatively players can compete against a randomly chosen opponent.
The second EA SPORTS™ 2002 FIFA World Cuptm game is a single player game that fulfils the dream of all armchair coaches. The game, played against computer-controlled teams in simulated real time, allows the user full control of the national team of his or her choice, with the ability to select the starting 11 players from the 23 picked by each country. The new manager must then organise training, set formations and pick tactics. As the tournament continues the individual players within each team can develop their soccer skills or suffer from injuries. This will be the ultimate game for those who know they can do better than the national coach.
Brian Greasley, the CEO of Digital Bridges, sees the announcement of the EA SPORTS™ 2002 FIFA World Cuptm mobile games as a validation of Digital Bridges’ “big brand” content strategy and advanced technical capabilities. “This year, there is nothing bigger than the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japantm. We believe the EA SPORTS™ 2002 FIFA World Cuptm mobile games will introduce a huge number of new users to the world of mobile entertainment, and drive the most dynamic new medium in the world today towards its deserved status as a mass market activity and business.”
“We think that wireless gaming has a very big future in Europe, and we are delighted to bring our most important European sports franchise to the mobile market” said Andrew Phillips, European Director for EA.com. “For the first time during a FIFA World Cuptm, mobile phones will provide an information channel, users relying on news alerts and match updates. The EA SPORTS™ 2002 FIFA World Cuptm mobile games will add a compelling and unique entertainment dimension to this huge global phenomenon. We anticipate strong uptake of these products”.
Richard Brennan, Executive Vice President, OrangeWorld and Brand, at Orange comments: ”The addition of EA SPORTS™ FIFA World Cup™ games to our portfolio reinforces Orange’s position as the leading provider of wirefree entertainment. Orange customers have access to a huge range of first class brands including Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Lord of the Rings and Orange Developed titles such as DinoIsland and Airlok across WAP and SMS. Orange will continue to lead the evolution of mobile entertainment allowing it to be multi-player, multi-platform, location aware and of course wirefree.”