EA Sports has learned a lot about making mobile games, and its latest revisions for its soccer app are prime examples of those lessons.
FIFA Mobile Soccer’s latest update is live on iOS and Android, and it introduces a number of new modes built specifically for the way people enjoy games on smart devices. As always, fans can play with their favorite clubs and players while also building up their Ultimate Team. But this time around, EA is putting an emphasis on quick action and daily events. More importantly, the publisher shrunk the game down so that it is only a 100MB download. That means it can reach players around the world who may have slower 3G connections, which is a common problem in a number of emerging markets where soccer and the $36.6 million mobile-gaming market are both huge.
“When developing FIFA Mobile, we focused on giving players the most exciting parts of football in quick and fun bursts while prioritizing gameplay and engaging, new ways to play FIFA on-the-go,” FIFA Mobile senior producer Todd Batty said in a statement. “This meant building a game that was optimized for the mobile player resulting in a fun and social game that loads quickly, runs smoothly on a wider range of devices, and has a small download size relative to the depth of features and content in the game.”
The new mobile-optimized features include Attack Mode and the daily events. Attack Mode is a turn-based quick match where you must score as many goals as possible across a range of scenarios before sending off a asynchronous challenge to an opponent. The daily events, meanwhile, are a way for EA to continuously add new content based on real events happening in the world of soccer to keep fans coming back.
Of course, most fans are going to come to this game for FIFA Ultimate Team, which is back with a few changes. EA is dropping contracts and consumable items. The company wants players to just focus on collecting cards to field a team of 27 superstars. Instead of worrying about improving your cards with training items, EA is introducing plans, which act like quests where you can trade in tokens toward certain plans to eventually unlock new “Game Changer Players.”
All of these changes could help EA’s soccer game grow, but it’s the smaller download size that is really the biggest change here. It likely required a lot of engineering magic and sacrifices (FIFA Mobile no longer has voice commentary) to get under 100MB, but this welcomes in a global audience of soccer fans that previously had no real way to partake in the fun. And that’s crucial for EA as it attempts to win over the next generation of gamers coming online in places like the Philippines, Brazil, and Malaysia.