E3 Interview: FIFA 10

As the real football season draws to a close, we can all look forward to the new virtual one – I got my hands on the first playable demo of FIFA 10 in a behind closed doors session on the EA SPORTS stand on the show floor.

The game’s line producer, David Rutter, gave a ten minute presentation to me and a small group of American journalists, although they disappeared shortly to look at NHL 10, leaving David and I to play a couple of matches between Manchester United and Barcelona.

FIFA10 Preview

“This year, 70% of our efforts have been refining the gameplay and responding to community feedback,” he said. “With the other 30% placed on innovation. We’ve been listening to the players and we’re addressing all of the areas that have caused frustration.”

The game certainly felt familiar and at this stage, it looks very much like FIFA 09, but there are a number of changes that seasoned players will notice right away. Dribbling, for example, has been greatly improved so that you can now push the ball in any direction. What David describes as skill dribbling allows greater freedom of expression on the ball and the Artificial Intelligence now includes threat analysis, so that defenders become more alert when danger is near and attackers are better at sensing an opportunity.
FIFA10 Preview

During our matches, I felt this in action most while I was on the attack (which, I’m afraid to say, wasn’t too often). In FIFA 09, AI-controlled team mates tended to run in straight lines and only on their side of the pitch; in FIFA 10, my players tended to curve their runs and look for gaps between the centre-backs. The goalkeepers also share this new sense of urgency and came out to attack the ball far more quickly everytime I found myself in a one-on-one situation… well, both times.

“Last year, the community felt that the lobbed-through ball over the top was too powerful,” Rutter explained. “We’ve addressed that by improving the defensive AI. Players now take the easiest option when controlling the ball, not the quickest. For example, in FIFA 09 they would take a high ball down on their chest everytime, whereas now, they will take a step back and bring it down with their feet if they have the time and space.”

Practice mode is another community request satisfied by the development team, allowing you to train with and against teams of however many players you like, and practice set-pieces.

Manager Mode has improved although I didn’t get to see it in action. Simulated matches now produce more realistic results and the transfer system now takes into account factors such as the size of your club, the ambition of your target and the make-up of your squad – a star striker is less likely to sign if you already have three fighting for a place.

Rutter was unable to comment on online features or Be a Pro mode, despite my prodding, although he did say that they have “big plans” for the latter. I did ask if Ultimate Team would be available out of the box, at TRS-T’s request, but he was similarly tight lipped.
FIFA10 Preview

In conclusion, I think that EA SPORTS has refined what was already a great game with FIFA 10, and the new level of freedom on the ball allows more scope to take players on than its predecessor. I’m also pleased to see the improvements to Manager Mode as I believe they will add greater depth to my single-player campaigns.

My only disappointments were the results of our matches, which I’d rather not divulge…

If you want to see more pics of FIFA 10 check out our Flickr.

5 Author replies

Very nice Interview.
Those screens on Flickr looks amasing :D

Who won the matches ?

thank you, great football game. I have the fifa collection since 2003.

I am sorry I know this is not the place to ask about it but I do not know where to ask it yet.

some explanation from sony about the announcement last week of KZ2 patch 1.27.

and we stand waiting for … news tell date 1.6.2009 that this patch is released yet.and nothing

thank you and sorry again.

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 16:48

No worries, it’s funny you should ask as I was having a coffee with Chris, the Killzone 2 product manager, while reading your comment. He apologises for the delay and says that the patch will be released tomorrow morning (Thursday).



Come on James, spill the beans…what were the scores? There’s no shame in losing to the guy made the game.

I remember when the mighty TSR took on Guerilla Games…and lost quite badly :)

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 16:42

Hmm… ok, if I must. I lost 2-0 the first game, but that was because I usually play with new alternative controls and I kept lobbing my shots into row Z. Once I got used to them I did a bit better and only lost the second game 1-0.

Killa_Cobra_ST 03 June, 2009 @ 16:19

Sounds very promising, be good to know more details of the game… hopefully more will be revealed soon :D


James great work! Thanks for all the content and interviews on this blog. It’s a great succes the EU blog I think!

But can you do one thing for us? I think i’m not speaking for myself alone. But Can you visit the Gran Turismo stand (if it’s there). But what ‘we’ really want to see is Gran Turismo 5. And we really want to know if it would make 2009.

I hope you can do that for us. Thanks!!

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 16:46

I have a meeting Kazanouri Yamauchi this evening but he is focusing solely on GT PSP at E3 so we won’t be discussing GT5.

However, look out a post on GT PSP tomorrow – I’ve played it and it’s excellent.

the screenshots on flickr are not gameplay there FMV or just artistic drawing so we really have no clue what the next game is like. EA/FIFA devs always talk about the 100s of enhancements in each new game but when you get it you only notice about 10. The booton line is that FIFA doesnt evolve enough for me. too much emphasis is placed on adding online features, tarting up the graphics and enlisting cool indie bands for the soundtrack. i presume this is because it comes out every year and they only have a few months to “make a new game” but alot more needs to change imho. Pro Evo is also suffering the same problems. Not enough new features to warrant a new game. How about creating a game and then patching it with new features like burnout paradise rather than adding new features and calling it FIFA10? I want to see a totally new “kicking” system for shooting, freekicks, corners & penalties as for the last few years its just been press a button and hope for the best.

PInTheShadows 03 June, 2009 @ 16:34

Tell us the scores!


@James Gallagher: Oké great thanks for the answer!


There is an graphic evolution ?


There is a graphic evolution ?

Grate stuff! Liking the refined urgency and AI runs.

Your score is nothing to be ashamed of, he`s making the game!!;)

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 17:06

That’s true… I was at the FIFA Iinteractive World Cup final last month and the guys playing in that truly destroyed me!

haha now that I can belive:)

Thank you very much JAMES.

you are really competent.

Regards from Valencia-Spain (Europe).

Looks great


Manic_Craven 03 June, 2009 @ 17:58

EA Come on! give us 5-a-side indoor football!

I saw my name! :O

I’m famous! :D

Thanks for asking them about Ultimate Team – I had a feeling they wouldn’t be able to comment lol.

Nice preview though ;)


looking forward for fifa 10 looks like it going to be just as good as 09 :)


They forgot to put the best team in those pics :S

Looking good though :)

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 19:00

I know – Kidderminster Harriers aren’t going to be in the game, unfortunately.

TimoTheThug 03 June, 2009 @ 19:24

Great interview and awesome 2 see that you have asked the question on a fellow blog mates request. Keep up the good work!!

I [DELETED] hate fifa 09, i keep telling myself not to play it. And still i keep going back and getting so frustrated. But finaly i have awesome games like Infamous to play, so that i can keep away from the most annoying online game ever. Hope dear god they have improved the game so that the noobs really are noobs, and the skilled really are…well, skilled!

ReNeGADe1991 03 June, 2009 @ 21:58

Fifa games are always money well spent. I am always going back and playing them. I love FIFA! I loved Fifa 09 so smother grapfics more statiums better manager mode (maybe 2? one for the people who want more stat controll etc)

Oh well cant wait!


I hope that they announce that we can play as a keeper, that was the only thing I really missed in ” be a pro ” mode.

I remember a Football game where you could play as the Keeper, but I forgot the name :S

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