Today computer game giant Electronic Arts announced that it was discontinuing its line of Champions League tie-in football games, to be replaced with a game focussing on other football tournaments.
"UEFA Champions League 2007 will be the last in the series of our video games following the top levels of the professional game," said Joyce Stitch, Product Director for EA Sports. "However, the avid gamer need not despair as we will be continuing our award winning football games with the launch of ‘Nationwide Conference 2008’".
The gaming community expressed surprise and some dismay at the news. Kallum Smythe (aka ‘Mr Bloggy’) said that initial reaction to the news had been muted. "We are always keen on the latest games, the improved graphics and player features always add to the atmosphere," he said. "But unless something goes horribly wrong with their careers, it looks like we won’t be able to play as our heroes Ronaldo or Ronaldhino, instead it will be Ronnie Bull of Crawley Town FC."
EA Sports was adamant however that what players might lose in top level panache, they would gain from the extra money afforded to game development by the cheaper licensing.
"Players will get the opportunity to not just enjoy the normal fast-paced real-time excitement of controlling the players, but the career mode will be completely overhauled," said Ms Stitch. "It will include a simulation of working on a building site, or other jobs that the part-time players undertake. There will also be improved player dynamics with advanced mud simulation for goalmouth scrambles as well having to be careful about your player‘s stamina if he has a crafty pre-match fag or pint."
Jason Billingsworth, an avid gamer, played a preview of the game on his XBOX 360 and said he had mixed views about the new features. "Well, like, it was OK. Judging the ball in the mud was quite fun, and you know, you got, like, to run into the car park to retrieve the ball if it goes behind the goal at some of the grounds," he said. "But it got a bit dull when my player was pulled off at half-time to go and work on the burger van."
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