Archive for June, 2010

Playfish Kicks Off EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars with London Football Match

June 23, 2010

The recent launch of Playfish’s EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars was a great success and the game is proving to be a big hit worldwide.  We are especially pleased to be able to bring the beautiful game of football to Facebook and to Playfish fans everywhere – especially just as the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa has gotten under way.

To celebrate the release of the game, Playfish hosted a FIFA Superstars “friendly” – a spirited football match featuring several members of the London media at a pitch in Battersea Park. The teams hit the pitch wearing exclusive FIFA Superstars blue and white kit made especially for the match.

At kick off, Team White came out with guns blazing and shots hitting the mark, building a quick lead over Team Blue.

Though down, but definitely not out, Team Blue found itself on the short end of a 7-2 score at the end of the 20-minute mark.

In a lively second half, an undaunted Team Blue stepped up the pace, outscoring Team White 5-3.

Alas, it was too little too late and Team White ultimately prevailed 10-8.

Nicely done, lads! And a special congratulations to Michael Sawh of Team White, who was awarded Man of the Match.

With the match over, but players still hungry for more football, everyone headed to a nearby pub for FIFA Superstars demos from members of the game’s production team. Playfishers Henrique Olifiers, John Earner, Raf Keustermans, Andy Watson and Tom Sarris were on hand to provide our special guests with valuable tips for claiming ultimate victory in FIFA Superstars. In all, it was a great afternoon and a fun way to kick off FIFA Superstars!


Exclusive Interview with Henrique Olifiers, Producer of FIFA Superstars

June 15, 2010

Get the ball rolling during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and check out EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars, only on Facebook. Here’s an exclusive interview with Playfish’s Henrique Olifiers, the producer of the first official FIFA football social game.

Welcome, Henrique. Tell us about yourself.
Hi, as producer of this exciting game, I’m responsible for coordinating the original concept for FIFA Superstars. I work with a very talented team and determine what each person’s role is. If you like, think of me like a movie director.

What experience do you have ‘directing’ games?
Well, I’ve been doing this for about 10 years and I started working on games 20 years ago, back on the ZX Spectrum computer, which some of you may or may not remember. So yeah, I bring some good experience to FIFA Superstars.

What about experience working on football games?
I worked on two football titles prior to FIFA Superstars. Both posed similar challenges: finding the delicate balance between providing the player with an abundance of information and features, and making it all accessible and manageable.

Give us the score – what is FIFA Superstars?
It’s a really fun game to start with if you’ve never played a football game. It’s been created with the novice in mind. You start by building and managing your own team around the players you like. You’ll be able to play your friends and others around the world or face the virtual version of real world teams. Can you imagine scoring 5-nil against Man U? Or bragging about scoring a 3-nil victory against a friend or a random FIFA Superstars player? I think that’s pretty cool.

What inspired the look of FIFA Superstars?
First… it’s FIFA – it deserves the same level of polish and quality that all Playfish games and the FIFA series give our players. Second, I had several images of what it would look like in my mind. I saw what it could be as an action game, or a simulation like FIFA 10; or what it could be as a fantasy game where players buy and sell members of their team. It could have been a managing game, where players build a team from scratch and train, the list goes on…

What kind of game is FIFA Superstars?
All three: it’s a simulation, a fantasy and a managing game rolled into one sweet package available from anywhere you can log onto Facebook. It’s really unlike any football game that’s come before. I’m really proud of that. However, I find myself frustrated that I couldn’t put everything into the game from the day of release. But the really great thing about FIFA Superstars – and social games in general – is that we will be adding a lot of really cool features as the game grows, so I’m really looking forward to its evolution.

How likely is it that everyone will pick the same players for their teams?
It’s very unlikely that you will have the same team as someone else; FIFA Superstars has more than 15,000 football players from which to choose. They range from players who have not played for a long time to living legends virtually everyone knows of. As you start winning matches you can afford to hire more experienced players for your FIFA Superstars team.

What was the most challenging aspect of bringing FIFA Superstars to life?
I’d say the usability of the game – that is, how easy or difficult it is to understand what you should do with the information presented to you in the game. As there is a simulation aspect to FIFA Superstars there is a ton of information involved in bringing that to the gamer. It was about looking at how to consolidate all of that into easy and relevant statistics per player on your team.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?
The players are definitely my favourite aspect. I’m a massive football fan – I scour the statistics of each player like a hawk before making my choices for my team. Each one of the stats used for a player – be that shooting, pace, energy – all goes into making a unique player. And I’ve got to have the best.

The best, huh? What did you call your team?
Zombies – it was a total no brainer – no pun intended! It’s in homage to the team of people I work with at Playfish, the Zombiefish team.

You didn’t name your team after your favorite football team?
My favorite real-world football team is the Brazilian Flamengo FC but the Zombies definitely come first, without a doubt. The entire Zombiefish team was just outstanding in pulling together, especially the last month of development, which was a big stretch. I’ll always be their biggest fan.

How are you feeling now that the FIFA Superstars is out?
Super excited. We already broke the first day record for number of players to start playing the game, beating both My Empire and Hotel City – both of which are currently very popular. That’s a very positive sign.

What new features will you be bringing out and when?
What you’re seeing is about 20% of the game that we’ve already planned out. There’s a lot for us to add. For example, expanding the stadium styles and setting up more training facilities. These will have a bigger impact on the game as more people play.  Essentially, if you want it, it’s more than likely we’re already working on it.

EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars Brings the ‘Beautiful Game’ to Facebook

June 10, 2010

Have you ever dreamt of managing a football team comprised of the world’s greatest players? Now, just in time for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM, we’re pleased to announce EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars!

Here’s your chance to take control of the ‘beautiful game’ to see if you can do a better job than the pros. FIFA Superstars lets you build a team of real players and compete with the whole world on the football pitch.

First, you’re assigned a set of football players to develop your team around. Players are rated on their shooting, control, stamina and strength, with the ratings based on real world statistics. So if you’re lucky enough to have, say, Cristiano Ronaldo on your team, he’s going to have much higher stats than a less accomplished player.

So you’ve got your team lined up, but what if they’re just not all that hot? Well, that’s where the game starts getting really fun! Buying Bronze, Silver or Gold transfer sets gives you a random group of players of roughly similar skill range. Bronze players are international quality, Silver players are star footballers and Gold players are the football world’s superstars – the best of the best.

Once you’re happy with your team you can take them to the pitch to play some games with other players. You can play each of your friends once a day, earning cash and building experience. You also can play league games, climbing ever higher to face better and better players around the world. The more cash you earn, the more you can spend on transfers and taking your team to the big time.

You’ll also need to ensure your team has a consistently high standard of training and fitness, which improves its abilities on the pitch. Additionally, stadium upgrades increase your team’s revenue and training levels.

FIFA Superstars features four modes of exciting play: Friendly matches, League matches, Premier League (and more of the world’s top leagues to come soon), and 2010 FIFA World CupTM.

You can win some amazing prizes in 2010 FIFA World CupTM mode. Just predict the scores for upcoming games, and if you guess the winner or the score correctly you’ll earn points which add up to Coin prizes, Match Credits and even Gold rated players! Even better, the more friends who play the 2010 FIFA World CupTM Mode, the better your chances at winning prizes – so remember to get everyone involved. Not only will you earn more together but you can finally prove once and for all who really knows football best!

Just like the start of your favorite team’s professional league, this is only the beginning for EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars. There’ll be all kinds of amazing new features to try in future and much, much more. So step onto the pitch, make wise training and transfer choices, and you’ll have the chance to take your team all the way to the top of the world! Do you have what it takes?

Interview with Andrew Ow, Product Manager of My Empire!

June 7, 2010

Hear ye, hear ye! Playfish has released a new game and we, the People, demand word from the Product Manager of My Empire! Join us now and be part of an audience with Andrew Ow!

Good sir, would you kindly begin by explaining to us your role in bringing My Empire to us?
All hail!Hello and of course.  My name is Andrew Ow. I am the product manager of My Empire and responsible for deciding what the game will look like and play like. It is a really exciting job and working with the whole My Empire team has been great.

A leading role in My Empire? We are not worthy! But my lord, why create My Empire? (Though we are grateful!)
Building an empire is fun! We wanted to create a beautiful and easy game to get into which lets you have play with ancient themes. You can interact with friends, expand your land and create really stunning empires due to our lovingly detailed graphics. The My Empire team is extremely excited to see what the players make of it since we think we have created something really different and fun.

Indeed, My Empire is a delight for the eye! Can you describe to your humble audience the aim of the game?
The goal of My Empire is to create a glorious ancient empire – but what that means is completely up to you! Players can aim to create the most beautiful empire, build a Wonder (or all of them!), or have the largest population. It’s very open ended. I think new players will love the feeling of constructing Wonders. We have some really great Wonders like Stonehenge, the Pyramids, and the Parthenon. Our artists have really done a fantastic job creating them – they look stunning, and do great things for your empire as well!

So many things to choose from! It baffles the mind! But, my lord, perhaps you can help narrow this down with a suggestion as to where to begin?
My tip would be to be sure to building both houses and happiness buildings. Houses allow more citizens to live on your island, but you need to keep your citizens happy as well. Keeping a good balance is a key part of having a growing empire!

Wise words… surely such wisdom is learnt from having faced challenges during your reign?
I’d say the most challenging aspect of working on My Empire has been deciding which of the many exciting features to add.  We had so many ideas that we really had to pick and choose what to do each day.  The good news is we have many ideas for new features in the future and we hope you’ll be enjoying them with us!

Then it seems, my lord, you have had a most joyful experience building My Empire?
Yes! The most fun aspect has been seeing the game get better and better each week in all ways.  For example, we started without any art for the Wonders, so it was hard to imagine how cool or impressive they would look. The week we added the Wonder art everyone at the office was so impressed, our whole studio was racing to be the first to complete Stonehenge!

Ah, a tale to be told for years to come! And as the months come and go, what do you foresee for the citizen of My Empire?
I don’t want to give away anything too exciting – but it will definitely give old and new players something fun to do. All I can suggest is keep a close eye on the My Empire Facebook page for the latest news.

Ah my lord, you are a tease! But sir, so that I may know it when I pass by, what have you called your empire and why?
My empire is named Haogang, after one of My Empire‘s excellent programmers.  He accomplished some truly legendary work during the course of our project, so I had to commemorate him!

*Wipes a tear from eyes* That is so sweet… ahem… I mean… Bravo! And what kind of leader would you describe yourself as, my lord?
I am a leader obsessed with empire beautification!  I try to lay out parks and open areas for my citizens to enjoy. My roads are lined with trees, and one time I even constructed a hedge maze.   As you can imagine, I am excited when I unlock new decoration items each level!

My lord, I feel our time is coming to an end. Before we leave, what wise words would you like to leave with us?
First of all, thanks so much for playing!  I would also like to let our players to know that they can leave feedback on our game’s Facebook page or forum. We are listening to you and will do everything we can to make this game great!

Welcome to My Empire!

June 1, 2010

Welcome to My Empire!
Friends, Romans and citizens. The time has come to make your marks on history with Playfish’s latest release: My Empire.

Each one of you has been given an island to make your own and enough gold to build the foundations of a mighty empire.

You have each been given the finest ships in the Roman empire’s fleet, that you may set sail for each other’s islands, earning Coins for your colony through good will gifts and trading.

Each of you is placed in control of your own empire’s destinies, and the destinies of the very people who populate them. Treat them well by building fine baths, arenas and other luxuries and your population will grow and prosper. And with a growing population comes more taxes to collect.

Such intricate detail!

Your people may be loyal to you, but they still have needs for creature comforts. A happy population is a productive one and the population’s mood can be improved by planting trees and flowers, erecting statues and laying roads and hedgerows. Make your city beautiful and your citizens will be proud to call it their home and thank you with their devotion.

As your population of devoted subjects grow, so too will the number of ways you can put them to work for you and help you raise your empire to glory. You and you alone are in control of your empire and the way it grows under your guidance will say much about the way you think. You could have them build a mine to dig for iron, copper, silver and perhaps even gold, or construct a quarry to search for precious stone.

Build! Trade! Conquer! Farm goats?

By collecting more of these valuable raw materials you can set your loyal citizens to work creating a masterpiece — a Wonder of the World. Achieving the truly legendary status of building a Wonder of the World is one of the highest honors you can achieve and the choice of different Wonders will astonish and amaze, ranging from the mighty Colossus of Rhodes to the mysterious Sphinx and many more between. Who will be the first among you and your friends to construct them all?

Ah, shade from the hot sun!

But Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ll need your friends to help you construct your finest achievements, whether by sending you gifts or by enlisting them to help you to build. Lend help to your friends when they need you and they’ll be there for you when you need them.

Well, what are you waiting for? Click me to play!The more friends you have who create colonies in neighboring islands the more rich opportunities will be uncovered, all yours for the taking.

So set sail for distant lands to explore because this is only the beginning, and who knows what marvels await in My Empire? Play it now to find out!

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