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FIFA International Soccer

fifa international soccer, fifa international soccer pc
FIFA International Soccer is a 1993 sports video game developed by EA Canada's Extended Play Productions team and published by Electronic Arts Based on the sport of association football, the game tasks the player with controlling a football team The game was released for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console in December 1993 and ported to numerous other systems in 1994

The game was positively received on release; critics lauded the detail and animation of the footballers in the game, the crowd sound effects and the overall presentation The speed the game ran at and issues with the response to the player's input were seen as the game's primary faults The game sold well, served as a pack-in game for the Goldstar 3DO,1 and led to a sequel, FIFA Soccer 95 It was the first game in the FIFA series


  • 1 Gameplay
  • 2 Development
  • 3 Reception
    • 31 Sales
    • 32 Critical
  • 4 Legacy
  • 5 References


Play media Example of FIFA International Soccer gameplay, showing the isometric viewpoint, the way the view moves to keep the ball on screen and footballer animation

FIFA International Soccer is a video game that created one of the earliest full simulations of association football In particular, the game is based on international matches The game utilises an isometric viewpoint,2 unlike other football games at the time such as Sensible Soccer which utilised a birds-eye view or Kick Off which used a top-down view The player controls one of the eleven footballers on their team at a time, with the ability to switch players on command The game allows up to four human players at the same time, each controlling a different footballer The players can choose to control a footballer on the same team or on opposing teams The remaining footballers are controlled by the computer

Four modes of play — Exhibition, Tournament, Playoffs and League — are available Exhibition engages the player in a single match Tournament mode resembles the format of the FIFA World Cup, with the player controlling a team of their choice through a series of matches, starting with three group games with the possibility of progressing to four further games in a knockout format Playoffs mode takes the same form, but skips the group games and starts at the first knockout game League consists of eight teams who contest a double round-robin tournament3

The game features 48 national teams in total, plus a team called EA All Stars Every team has 20 players The players are fictional some of them, eg Tim Ansell of England or Joe Della-Savia of Italy, are named after people credited as the development team and look the same, except for the fact that the players of certain teams have a darker skin

An oversight by the developers makes it easy to score a goal by making a player stand in front of the opponent's goalkeeper when he holds the ball in his hands and is about to clear it away The computer-controlled goalkeeper will kick the ball into the opposing player, giving the latter an easy chance to score4


Electronic Arts EA had first ventured in the sports games market in 1988 with an American football title, John Madden Football Updated versions of the game, along with golf and ice hockey games followed under the EASN Electronic Arts Sports Network banner EA's European arm carried out research into the possibility of a sports game that would appeal to a European audience and decided that a football game would stand the best chance of success, predicting high sales figures EA US gave the go-ahead for the project to proceed, and a team of ten developers at EA's Canadian studios began work on the project led by Bruce McMillan Initially, the development took place for the Sega Genesis under the working title of EA Soccer, with a small budget of around $50,000-$100,000citation needed

Other EA Sports titles held official licences from the leagues depicted to allow real team names, players and stadiums to be included, and with a view to securing the same for their football title, EA signed a five-year deal with football's governing body, FIFA The deal involved "minuscule" royalty payments, and on further inspection the reason became clear The licence didn't include any team names, logos, player names, likenesses or stadiums The game would therefore only include national teams identified by country names and flags, and player names would be made up - several of the developers added their own names into the game The licence for the forthcoming 1994 FIFA World Cup tournament was held by US Gold and their game was due for a Spring 1994 release in time for the tournament which was to take place in Summer 1994 EA decided they would need to bring forward their game ahead of the US Gold title, and aimed for a Christmas 1993 release

Questioning the recognition that the FIFA licence held in North America, EA suggested the game be released as Team USA Soccer in North America Fearing a sales flop, they reversed the decision and decided to release the game worldwide under the FIFA International Soccer title, providing the option of moving unsold stock to other markets Development of the game was completed in November 19935



EA anticipated sales of around 300,000 copies of the game in Europe In the first four weeks alone, over 500,000 sales were made, and despite its December release, became the best selling game of 1993citation needed


FIFA International Soccer received mostly positive comments from the press Reviewing the original Genesis/Mega Drive version, Edge magazine praised the way the crowd sounds reacted to the play on the field as well as the visual detail of the players and their animations with the isometric view They highlighted that this did make for a slower game than one using a top-down view and described it a more of a simulator than a console game6 Mean Machines Sega described the game as the "greatest soccer game yet seen", praising the "superlative presentation" and the "utterly amazing" animation With only minor concerns around the response time to the players input and the lack of an on-screen clock graphic, they awarded a score of 96%3

GamePro gave the SNES version a positive review, commenting that "Strong and varied game play makes this the most realistic soccer game for the SNES" They also praised the graphics, animation, digitized crowd chants, and accessibility to players of all skill levels7 They later commented that the Sega CD version is essentially identical to the Genesis and SNES versions aside from the addition of some full motion video clips, but that this is not a bad thing because the previous versions didn't leave any room for improvement8

Next Generation reviewed the 3DO version, and noted that this port differed considerably from the original Genesis version and most other ports, with the addition of multiple views, a rotating-camera effect and more detailed graphics They described it as the "killer-app graphics showhorse" for the 3DO console, awarding it a maximum five star score9 GamePro similarly remarked "FIFA 3DO is no mere port-over from the cartridge market" They especially praised the highly detailed graphics, multiple views, realistic gameplay, and six-player support10

Reviewing the Amiga port, most publications spoke favourably of the game's appearance Amiga Power, CU Amiga and The One magazines all highlighted the amount of disk swapping required to play the game as a drawback111213 Reaction to the changes in the controls required to adapt from the three buttons available on the Mega Drive controller to the single button common on most Amiga joysticks were mixed Amiga Format said of hitting the button in an attempt to shoot at the goal, "occasionally the ball flies into the onion bag; other times it seems you are just passing the ball to the keeper"14 Amiga Power described the outcome of pressing the button as random11 The One however describes the control system as "excellent - to the point that it's easier to control" in comparison to the Mega Drive13


A sequel, FIFA 95, was released exclusively for the Genesis in July 1994citation needed This started the FIFA series, with a new game released every year since in the main series, alongside spin-off series games based around a particular tournament The series passed 100 million total sales in 2010, and EA's licence to use the FIFA title runs through to 202215


  1. ^ "Price Slashed on 3DO" GamePro IDG 85: 170–172 October 1995 
  2. ^ Fox, Matt 2013 The Video Games Guide: 1,000+ Arcade, Console and Computer Games, 1962-2012 McFarland p 107 ISBN 9781476600673 
  3. ^ a b "MegaDrive Review: FIFA International Soccer" Mean Machines Sega EMAP 14: December 1993: 28–32 1993 ISSN 0967-9014 
  4. ^ Sherman, Rodger 2014-07-27 "FIFA International Soccer had two of the best glitches in video game history" SB Nation Vox Media, Inc 
  5. ^ Dring, Christopher 2013-08-16 "Rejection, tragedy and billions of dollars - The story of FIFA" MCV Intent Media 
  6. ^ "FIFA International Soccer review" Edge Future Publishing 3:December 1993 1993 ISSN 1350-1593 
  7. ^ "FIFA Kicks the Competition" GamePro 60 IDG July 1994 p 118 
  8. ^ "FIFA Is CD Champ!" GamePro 62 IDG September 1994 p 118 
  9. ^ "Kicking!: FIFA International Soccer" Next Generation GP Publications, Inc 1: January 1995: 91 1994 ISSN 1078-9693 
  10. ^ "FIFA 3DO Wins World Cup!" GamePro 67 IDG February 1995 p 110 
  11. ^ a b Winstanley, Cam 1994 "Game Reviews:FIFA International Soccer" Amiga Power Future Publishing 43: November 1994: 56 ISSN 0961-7310 
  12. ^ Lee, Ernest 1994 "Game Review:FIFA Soccer" CU Amiga EMAP December 1994: 64–65 ISSN 0963-0090 
  13. ^ a b Nuttall, Andy 1994 "Review:FIFA International Soccer" The One Amiga EMAP 74: November 1994: 61 ISSN 0969-2932 
  14. ^ Bradley, Stephen 1994 "Game Review:FIFA International Soccer" Amiga Format Future Publishing 65: November 1994: 49 ISSN 0957-4867 
  15. ^ "EA Sports and FIFA extend licensing agreement" t3com Future Publishing 

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FIFA International Soccer

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