EA Sports wants its 2014 World Cup game to appeal to all

“We don’t have limitless resources. We wanted to bring the game to as many people as possible and right now that was the 360 and PS3.” That’s what 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil’s lead producer Mat Prior had to say about the title not launching on Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Which is to say, EA’s leaning on console-adoption numbers as the primary reason for the lack of a proper game on Microsoft’s and Sony’s newest consoles. Instead, EA Sports plans to bring some “engaging” World Cup-themed content to FIFA 14’s Ultimate Team mode, in the hopes that’ll be enough to satisfy disappointed Xbox One and PS4 owners.

If you look at the numbers, EA Sports’ decision becomes clear. Currently, neither the Xbox One nor the PlayStation 4 has reached the 10 million mark in sales, and the two aren’t available everywhere. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can be found in many homes across the globe, including a large number of developing countries. “Emerging markets were important to making this decision,” Prior told Engadget. “We wanted to create the best game we could that could reach as many people as possible.” For those who own a last-generation system, this is great news, since the team behind 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was given the task of “setting a laser focus on building the highest-quality game” for these two consoles. And it shows.

By placing all its eggs in one basket, EA Sports was able to create a game that’s visually stunning, with fully rendered 3D crowds and a detailed presentation meant to evoke a real-life World Cup. “It’s the most atmospheric game we’ve ever made,” said Prior. Naturally, you can expect to see improved gameplay in comparison to FIFA 14 and many different game modes to choose from, both online and offline. This was also part of the reason the publisher made it a standalone title and not downloadable content, as was the case for the last country-focused game, UEFA Euro 2012. “We wanted it to be for people who haven’t played FIFA before,” Prior said. “The World Cup is such a massive event that it needed to have its own FIFA 14 Coins game and DLC wouldn’t have allowed it to have all the features it does.”

EA promociona FIFA 14 con el Sevilla Fútbol Club

Como viene siendo habitual durante los últimos meses, Electronic Arts sigue promocionando FIFA 14 con los principales clubes de la Primera División española de fútbol. En esta ocasión le toca el turno al Sevilla Fútbol Club, cheap fifa coins con quien organizaron un particular campeonato entre varios miembros de la plantilla.

En el vídeo facilitado por la compañía norteamericana, que se puede ver en párrafos venideros, se muestra a Jairo, Beto, Alberto Moreno, Sebastián Cristóforo, Coke, Vitolo, Carlos Bacca y Vicente Iborra compitiendo entre sí en equipos formados por dos jugadores. Los dos ganadores obtuvieron un premio simbólico como mejor jugador de FIFA 14 en el Sevilla Fútbol Club, mientras que todos los participantes recibieron una consola Xbox One como regalo (además de una copia de FIFA 14 con el estuche metálico exclusivo del Sevilla Fútbol Club).

En la actualidad, el perfil de Facebook de EA Sports FIFA está a punto de llegar a los 750.000 seguidores, mientras que en Twitter está cercano a los 115.000 followers. Estas cifras se ven luego reflejadas en las ventas, donde se observa que FIFA 14 fue el título más vendido de la semana pasada en Reino Unido (por delante de novedades como The Elder Scrolls Online).

Vivos en Liga y en la Europa League

El Sevilla Fútbol Club se encuentra actualmente como quinto clasificado de la Liga BBVA, a tan sólo seis puntos del cuarto puesto que da acceso a la previa de la Champions League, regentado por el Athletic Club de Bilbao. De igual manera, también sigue vivo en la competencia europea, donde el próximo jueves se enfrentará al Oporto portugués, con quien disputará el partido de vuelta de los cuartos de final de la Europa League.

La Europa League es una competición que se le da bien al Sevilla Fútbol Club. Sin ir más lejos, la ganó consecutivamente durante dos ediciones (2006 y 2007).

At Home, Brazil Clear Favorite to Win Group A

Playing in front of its own fans, Brazil is expected to easily advance from Group A, leaving Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon fighting for the other spot in the second round.

The squad led by Neymar and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has won 13 of its last 14 matches and should be the team to beat in the group. Croatia and Mexico just barely made it through qualifying and will be hoping to regain their top form in Brazil, while Cameroon will be relying on striker Samuel Eto’o.

The Group A match between Brazil and Croatia will open the World Cup on June 12 in Sao Paulo.

Here are five things to know about Group A:

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FAVORITE HOSTS

Brazil is one of the favorites to go all the way to the final so it’s no surprise that few expect the hosts to face difficulties in the group stage.

The five-time champions have reached the second round every time since 1970, and after escaping some more traditional opponents in the draw, it should be able to avoid a major surprise in its group this time. Brazil has a winning record against all of its first-round opponents.

Boosted by its boisterous fans and confident following the Confederations Cup victory last year, Brazil will be looking to do better than it did at the last two World Cups, when it was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

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LATIN DOUBTS

After just barely qualifying, Mexico hopes to finally get past the second round in Brazil. The Latin Americans were eliminated in the round of 16 in the last five World Cups, by Argentina the last two times. At least this time there is no chance the Mexicans will play their nemesis right away, as the Argentines are in a different side of the bracket.

Mexico has reached the quarterfinals only twice, at home in 1970 and 1986.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is Mexico’s biggest star, but his place as a starter in Brazil is not guaranteed because of his lack of minutes at Manchester United.

The Mexicans have never played Cameroon at the World Cup, and it had only one match against Croatia (a 1-0 group win in 2002). It hasn’t had good fortune against Brazil, losing all three matches (1950, ’54 and ’62). It also lost to the Brazilians in the group stage of the Confederations Cup last year.

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TRUSTING ETO’O

After reconsidering a decision to retire, Samuel Eto’o will be back at the World Cup carrying Cameroon’s hopes of a surprising performance in Brazil.

The striker, who will be 33 in Brazil, has been playing well with Chelsea and his experience of three World Cups will be key for the Indomitable Lions, who had some help qualifying after a loss to Togo was overturned because of an ineligible player.

Cameroon hasn’t advanced past the group stage since 1990, when it became the first African team to reach the quarterfinals.

It will play Mexico and Croatia before facing the hosts in its final Group A match.

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SHORT-HANDED CROATIANS

Croatia already knows it won’t be at full strength for the difficult opener against Brazil.

Croatia coach Niko Kovac won’t have forward Mario Mandzukic, who was red-carded in a decisive qualifier against Iceland. The suspension carried over from qualifying so he will have to sit out against the hosts. Kovac also knows he will be without defender Josip Simunic, who was banned for 10 games by FIFA 14 Coins for leading fans in a pro-Nazi chant after the Iceland match in Zagreb.

Back at the World Cup after not qualifying in 2010, Croatia will play its second match against Cameroon and then close out group play against Mexico.

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LOOKING AHEAD

No matter which teams advance from the group, a tough road is expected. The Group A qualifiers will have to play one of the top two teams in Group B, which has defending champion Spain, Netherlands, Chile and Australia.

Beyond that, the Group A winner has a chance to play against one of the teams in Group D, which has former world champions Uruguay, England and Italy, in addition to Costa Rica.

Football parents ready lend a helping hand at Canada 2014

With just over three months before kick-off at the FIFA Coins U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, volunteers are getting ready to put their mark on the prestigious international competition. For the parents of one teenager, volunteering for such a tournament means they get a taste of the experience their daughter may soon enjoy.

Jean-Pierre Proulx and Dominique Lafrance’s daughter is Lysianne Proulx, a 14-year old goalkeeper in the Canadian national youth program who recently represented her country at the recent FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014. Both parents were in Costa Rica to cheer for their daughter, but that was after they served as volunteers at the Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 in Montréal on 1 March.

“I didn’t know much about football before Lysianne began playing,” said Jean-Pierre. “We soon became passionate supporters of the sport and have become more and more involved as Lysianne grew as a player. It’s been her dream to play for Canada since she was seven. For us, it’s about meeting people who are as passionate about game and supporting Lysianne in her journey.”

Jean-Pierre and Dominique have taken their daughter’s passion for the game and made it a family affair. The family has become season ticket holders for Impact Montréal of Major League Soccer and traveled abroad for matches. They also helped built the Montréal Soccer Expo, a soccer conference which features more than 85 exhibitors and activities for fans of all ages.

Later this year, both parents will be serving as volunteers at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, welcoming countries from around the world for the 16-nation tournament that runs 5-24 August.

“We want to give back to football because football has given our family so much,” said the elder Proulx. “We were in Costa Rica and witnessed the size of the competition and the incredible excitement. The experience opened our eyes to what is coming in August and what is coming next year for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.”

For this one family, volunteering is all part of the football journey, a journey they hope leads their daughter to bigger and better things in the future.

FIFA 14: Majestic Field Experience

FIFA 14 is a simulation game based upon the sports of soccer. Made by EA Canada, it has been published by Electronics Arts. It is available on different platforms and also as an app for smartphones. This version of FIFA was specially made as a launch title for Xbox One and PS4 in November 2013. There are n numbers of video games based upon real life sports but no one can match the proximity to the real thing as does FIFA 14. The visuals are stunning and the crowds look almost real. Not only this as the sounds coming from the game are so real that you start to have an immersive experience when playing this videogame on your gaming console.

Closer to the real life soccer than before

The first things you notice as soon as you start FIFA 14 is how life like do the crowds look inside the game. You are thrilled and excited as you find the avid fans cheering you on. The animations are superb and the graphics have great details. You start to feel as if you are there on the field along with your teammates and the crowd. You feel you are playing against real individuals as you kick the football and receive a pass from your friend in the game. There is a slew of new movements that have been added in this version of the game to make it feel more real than before. You have more confidence in your teammates than before as they do not look like animated figures but capable players who can perform many movements to take pass from you and pass the ball to each other.

More than 2 players can now go for a header

FIFA 14 looks more real than any other video game based upon real life sports. This is the reason behind its popularity among the lovers of soccer across the world. You find yourself getting involved as you feel physical with the game. There is no restriction on the number of players going for a header to a ball coming into play from a corner. Removing the restriction of only 2 players for a header makes FIFA 14 much more real like soccer is played on field.

There are still some problems with the game as you are annoyed and disappointed to see the defenders just watching the ball and doing nothing to defend the goal.

Ancelotti, Blanc assess injury concerns

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has played down the leg problem which forced Cristiano Ronaldo off towards the end of their UEFA Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, saying it was just a niggle.

Ronaldo was substituted in the 80th minute of the 3-0 quarter-final first-leg victory at the Bernabeu after receiving treatment on the pitch for what looked like a problem with his left knee. However, Ancelotti does not think it is anything serious, saying after the match: “He was bothered a bit by his knee, we needed to defend and to avoid any risks, we’ve substituted him. It’s not a problem. He isn’t injured.”

Ancelotti did say, though, that they would not take any chances with the Portuguese international, adding: “We’ll see how it goes. At this moment we’re not concerned by the niggle.

“If it continues, naturally we’ll rest him but we’re not thinking about that because the player is calm. There’s not a problem at the moment.”

Ronaldo has been in prolific goalscoring form again for Madrid this season, and was on the mark against Dortmund to earn himself a place in the record books. His neat finish to put Madrid 3-0 up saw him equal the record of 14 goals in a single European Cup season shared by Lionel Messi and Jose Altafini.

Blanc discusses Ibra injury

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc said he was concerned after top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off injured in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Chelsea.

The Swede had to be substituted midway through the second half of PSG’s 3-1 quarter-final first-leg victory at the Parc des Princes after appearing to hurt his right thigh while playing a pass to Christophe Jallet in midfield.

“It’s a muscular problem. He will see the doctor tomorrow (Thursday),” confirmed Blanc, who immediately decided to replace the striker with Brazilian winger Lucas. “He wanted to continue but I thought honestly that it wasn’t reasonable. I hope he comes back as soon as possible because we need him.”

Ibrahimovic, who has scored a club record-breaking 40 goals in all competitions this season, including ten in the Champions League, faces a race against time to be fit for the second leg at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday.

Barcelona transfer ban: Fifa issues 14-month sanction

Barcelona have been given a 14-month transfer ban for breaking rules on signing international players under 18.

The Catalan club cannot buy players until the summer of 2015 after the world governing body, Fifa, imposed a transfer ban for the next two windows.

The Spanish champions have also been fined 450,000 Swiss Francs (£305,000) and have confirmed they will appeal.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has been sanctioned by Fifa for the same breaches.

Barcelona, who will still be allowed to sell players, are hoping to sign a new goalkeeper at the end of the season, with the long-serving Victor Valdes leaving the Nou Camp at the end of his contract.

The four-time European champions have been linked with Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while they agreed a deal to sign 17-year-old Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic last week.

Any appeal against the ban must be lodged within three days and is not likely to be heard until April.

“FCB will present the corresponding appeal to Fifa and if necessary will submit the resulting resolution to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” said a statement on the club’s official website.

Should the case reach CAS it would raise the possibility that the club could still sign players this summer if the ban is not imposed until a

final decision is made.

The RFEF has been given a fine of 500,000 Swiss Francs (£340,000) and told to “regularise its regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football” within a year.

Fifa rules state that international transfers are only permitted for players over the age of 18 – unless the player in question meets one of three qualifying criteria.

Under-18s can move to a club in a different country if their parents move there for non-footballing reasons, if they are from another nation within the European Union or European Economic Area and aged between 16 and 18, or if they live within 100km of the club.

A Fifa investigation – centred on several players aged under 18 who were registered and played for the club between 2009 and 2013 – found that Barcelona and the RFEF were guilty of a “serious” infringement of the rules in relation to 10 players.

Fifa told BBC Sport the identity of these players was confidential.

Its disciplinary committee said it sought to protect the best interests of young players, even if an international transfer might be beneficial to their football careers.

“On the basis of this analysis, the committee concluded that ‘the interest in protecting the appropriate and healthy development of a minor as a whole must prevail over purely sporting interests’,” said a Fifa statement.

It is the latest off-the-field issue to trouble Barcelona this season.

Earlier this year, the Catalan club were accused by the Spanish authorities of tax evasion relating to the £50m purchase of Brazil forward Neymar. A criminal investigation is under way, despite Barca making a “voluntary contribution” of more than £11m in taxes.

The club’s president Sandro Rosell resigned after he was accused of misappropriating funds in the deal.

Rosell and his successor Josep Maria Bartomeu insist the 22-time Spanish champions have not acted illegally.