Play the Game, Know the Game, Shape the Game

Football Manager and Football

Tactics menu in Football Manager

Football Manager (FM) is a videogame belonging to the sports management genre. When games media talks about football videogames, they more often than not mention FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) and FM alongside one another (De la Porte, 2014; Wilson, 2015). They are–after all–the best sellers in their category, and at first sight, they seem to have much in common. Yet, although FIFA and PES are both sports video games and are actually competitors, they are confused or lumped together with FM, a game that not only belongs to another genre, but also to another culture. Continue Reading

Real Soccer

Strategy & Realism in FIFA 14

Commentary - FIFA14

In recent years, authenticity has also meant a commitment to FIFA accurately modeling the on field action of modern soccer, moving closer towards realistic simulation. However, FIFA is a necessarily incomplete version of soccer and can only prioritize some aspects of the sport it seeks to adapt. This article examines the priorities of FIFA’s simulation, how they shape the game and underpin its ambitions for realism. I will suggest that, while FIFA models many aspects of real soccer well, that which it does not adapt–complex strategy and teamwork– undermines its authenticity and contributes to significant gameplay problems. Continue Reading