2012. A massive year for us. Here’s how it played out.
We started the year by finding out that FIFA 12 was the 4th most pirated game of 2011 and that FIFA 12 and FIFA 11 had claimed 8th and 9th spots respectively in the most played games of 2011. As the new years hype died down, we posted our brazilian project and launched the brilliantly named “Back To The FIFA” series. We then embarked on our first FIFA Street playtest which spawned a bunch of previews, before rounding the month out with a short interview from KSIOlajidebt.
EA announced during their February 1st financial call that FIFA 12 had passed 10 million sales and that they wanted $100M from UT,whilst we pondered over the best of your FUT squads. Throughout the month FIFA Street coverage continued to snowball, with person highlights being our chat with Gary Paterson and interview with Sid Misra. VP hackers found themselves banned, we reviewed FIFA Football,Ty Walton won the UK final of the FIWC world cup then Dave posted the first Career Mode editorial of the year and everyone got their first hands on experience with FIFA Street as the demo released right at the end of the month.
It might be easier to refer to March simply as “FIFA Street month” because that’s largely what it was. We kicked things off by gathering your feedback from the demo before posting our ever popular lists of things you’ll find in the game and getting a glimpse of the tv advert, even Toby got in on the action with a FIFA Street themed Xaors Corner. Attention returned to FIFA 12 slightly with a hefty FUT update, but that wasn’t enough to stop the mode grabbing attention for the wrong reasons, and it made it’s first of two appearances this year on Watchdog. FIFA Street reviews started to roll out, including ours, but towards the end of the month all eyes were back on 12 as the FIWC broke a Guiness world record and we found out for certain that Euro 2012 wouldn’t be getting a full disk release, causing Dave to ponder over the future of DLC.
On the 1st we learnt that Sian Massey would probably feature in FIFA 13, which turned out to be bollocks. Then we got a look at the Euro 2012 trailer. Our gameplay and Career Mode wishlists went live, sparking tonnes of interesting discussion, whilst Toby posted a 2 part tear down of the defending mechanics. I posted this about FIFA street, then the review of Euro 2012 which everybody hated. Closing out our Euro 2012 coverage we had an interview with Seb Enrique and the licensing dramas. Sticking with licensing, we got our first sniff of FIFA 13 news with a rumour circulating that the Saudi Professional League would be fully licensed and at the end of the month Adam Winster won $167,000 playing FIFA in NYC, proving that videogames aren’t just for spotty teenagers. Probably.
We opened with the first non FIFA Street Podcast of the year, Toby took a look at aggravation online and it was rumoured that FIFA Online would return, prompting the comment “FIFA Online was the best game i ever played”. EA announced that they’d hit and passed the $100M FUT target laid out in February leaving people wondering what they’d spent the money on, but they diverted everyones attention by broadcasting a FIFA 13 webcast which we wrote lots about. They followed that up with a showcase which gave Asim from NGB the opportunity to sit down and chat to Aaron McHardy about some of the new features, which we then talked about on another podcast before Toby put his opinions on the big five changes into the first FIFA 13 Xaors Corner.
The month ended with everything looking back to FIFA 12 as Dave took some time to pull Expedition mode apart and lay out changes that could improve it, Euro 2012 was patched and Alfonso Ramos pipped previous winner Bruce Grannec in the FIWC Final to become the 2012 winner.
Before the E3 train got rolling EA released a 99 rated Messi for FIFA 12, but from then out June was all about FIFA 13. We had the E3 trailer, an interview with Santiago Jaramillo, both mine and Daves gameplay impressions and the Kinect features all within the space of a few days, which we followed up with Tobys impressions, a Q and A featuring your questions and a podcast. FIFA 12 made a return to the top of the UK charts, most likely fuelled by Euro 2012 and a Kotaku interview with Peter Moore caused us to wonder if FIFA could ever be free to play?
At the end of the month news of FIFA 13 scooping the Game Critics Award panels “Best Sports Game at E3” crown and the global cover for FIFA 13 were slightly overshadowed for us as we found out we’d be making our way to EAC.
July started slowly with some iOS screens and Xaors Corner looking at VPs, but things heated up when we posted EAs response to one of the most discussed topics on the forums. Scripting. The next topic of note was us making our way to the FIFA studio, which was a bit daunting but also an awesome opportunity. We set off on the 15th and had an interesting time getting into the country which is covered here but from then on it was all about FIFA as we got a chance to see the game and have a look around EAC. Our trip led to previews of Skill games, CM and Kinect as well as as an Interview with Santiago Jaramillo and our own podcast. It would seem like a good time to say thanks to everyone that made it happen again, especially Al Reid, Rob and Rom. Thanks guys.
August was a hectic one, starting with the Wii U embargo lift, before tonnes of news poured from Gamescom including screenshots, trailers, the demo date announcement, the cover stars, all of which we wrapped up neatly in a podcast, we think.
What’s probably the busiest month in the FIFA calendar started with a bunch of well known Youtubers heading to EA in Guildford to capture FIFA 13 footage, all of which we rounded up here and here. That was followed up immediately with us posting our now yearly lists, which rounded out a good ten days worth of steady info flow regarding FIFA 13, taking everyone straight into the demo release. Mid month saw the sad news that Camp Nou wouldn’t be licensed and the sadder news that Rom was leaving EA.
Toby got his demo impressions up sharpish and we recorded a podcast about it, but it wasn’t long before the game was out, which we broke into FUT, Online, CM and Gameplay to review before deciding not to give it a score.
Once all that fuss had died down, we changed the way we looked and had a full site redesign, which is what you’re looking at now. Cheers Luc!
A positive start with the news that FIFA 13 had already broken 1 Million in sales, before settling at 4.5 Million in 5 days and 7.4 Million in 4 weeks. We discovered that FIFA had a negative effect on relationships, the companion app launched, Dave posted our recommended slider settings and we made a trailer for our CC team.
Outside of that, it was a pretty sour month, FUT fixes were rolled out, FIFA 13 was patched and the ball began to vanish, leading to FIFA getting a fair bit of bad press and making another appearance on Watchdog.
The negativity continued into November as EA responded to Watchdog. Emile Heskey was blamed for issues with the game and FIFA 13 was patched for a second time. EA began to give missing FIFA points back to players at least and we did another podcast, which some people called “probably the best one you’ve ever done”.
That all brings us to December, which has been by far the quietest month on the site for some time. The FIFA Xmas advert released early on, Patch number 3 became available to download and it was announced that the FIFA 11 servers would soon be closing.
Toby mixed things up by talking about scripting, but the biggest news story of the month though has to be the hacking that took place within Ultimate Team, causing a fair amount of downtime and creating an awful lot of work for EA.
So that’s 2012. Done. Dusted. See you next year.