In a significant transformation for its flagship football game, EA Sports has unveiled FC 24, featuring fresh technology and a groundbreaking inclusion of women's football as its standout highlights. Formerly known as FIFA, this latest installment of the popular video game franchise promises a revamped gaming experience, and The Sporting News was on hand at the FC 24 Showcase in Sydney to provide an exclusive look at what's in store.
Player capture technology has made substantial strides in the realm of sports video games, and EA Sports is at the forefront of this evolution. Gone are the days of bringing athletes into studios, clad in skin-tight motion capture suits, to meticulously analyze their movements for game integration.
Introducing "HyperMotion V," a pioneering volumetric capture technology powered by artificial intelligence. This innovation allows EA Sports to extract data directly from match footage, with content sourced from prestigious leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, and both the UEFA Men's and Women's Champions League. The result is an exceptionally detailed gaming experience that closely mirrors real football action.
Sam Rivera, Senior Producer at EA Sports, remarked, "Now we have access to the best players in the world competing at the highest possible level, and that gives us basically the top of the top in terms of motion. When you put that motion in the game, the game right away starts feeling more tactical, more authentic, and better replicates what happens in real football."
This new technology represents a monumental shift from previous editions of the game, where manual updates to individual player movements were a time-consuming process. With HyperMotion V, EA Sports gains access to a wealth of data, enabling more seamless gameplay improvements.
Rivera added, "Some things are now easier because we have a lot of data, and we can do a lot of stuff with that data that we couldn't before. However, it wasn't necessarily an easy implementation, because you need to be able to handle a lot of data and you need to have artificial intelligence systems to take advantage of the data. So it took years to get here. But now it's something that we're very, very proud of." The cutting-edge technology will be accessible to users on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
The surge in popularity of women's football, notably propelled by the FIFA Women's World Cup, has not gone unnoticed by EA Sports. The game developer has embraced this momentum in FC 24 by ensuring that both male and female players are represented with equal attention to detail.
In a historic move, female players have been integrated into the Ultimate Team game mode for the first time ever, enabling users to create teams that combine the talents of both male and female athletes.
While this inclusion naturally raises questions about the implementation of different physical and skill attributes, Rivera is confident that players will relish the opportunity to craft diverse teams in Ultimate Team mode.
"Women's football is more and more popular. We also want to make sure that in our game, they're well represented ... so that's why we're going this route [and including them in Ultimate Team]," he explained.
In terms of gameplay, Rivera clarified, "If you have two players, one male and one female, if they have the same attributes, the same height, and the same weight, they will behave exactly the same. So there's no difference. Of course, there are tendencies for women in multiple cases to be lighter, but that means they will be good at different actions - they can be more agile, faster, and more explosive."
This approach ensures that teams in FC 24 can feature a dynamic mix of male and female players across various positions, offering players a unique opportunity to explore diverse playing styles.