It’s that time of the year again peeps…
Every football fan already knows what I’m hinting at, and for the rest…
FIFA 17- The Journey is on its way…Yay!!!!
This time EA Sports have gone all out and introduced FIFA 17 with a brand new engine, Frostbite. FIFA 17 has been developed over the last 18 months with the help of real players; this story-mode feature is first of its kind in FIFA franchise.
But would this work??? A new product and direction!!
Well, FIFA fans are well aware of the technical glitches and frustrations they experience while playing. Hence, a new engine is exactly what was required. The Journey focuses on the life i.e. on and off the pitch, of a rising star in the Premiere League while Frostbite promises superior game play experience.
Let’s take a closer look at the making of The Journey… Shall we???
According to Creative Director Mat Prior, in an interview with EA Sports said, “We have been thinking about this for a long time and been plotting ideas for more than two years. We mapped out the story and all the features, then a large section of the team came together back over a year ago” when asked about how the story-mode was developed.
Previously, for most of the FIFA games teams have worked on an annual cycle, but this time it was a pretty long production; due to upgrade in features and technology. The improvements in the game have helped attract new customers, while maintaining and satisfying the requirements of their existing fans.
Mat Prior further explained regarding the making of The Journey, “Authenticity is, and always will be very important to FIFA. We did a lot of research, looked at real player stories and experiences to craft The Journey. We spoke to ex-players and worked with people who live and breathe football.”
Even feedback from current professional footballers was also encouraged in the later stages of development to ensure that the authenticity of the game was maintained and the target audience, truly experience the life of a footballer on and off the pitch.
So did FIFA 17 follow a new product development process???
Let’s find out…
The product development process starts with idea generation and ideas are generated from just about everything and anything around us. Same goes in the case of FIFA 17, the idea to provide a real life experience about a footballer’s life on and off the pitch is something, the FIFA fans have been craving for… and turning this to reality, refining it and making the opportunity feasible, could lead to gaining more customers and at the same time strengthen loyalty.
Second step in this process, we focus on the potential market for the product. The want for an improved version of FIFA was evident. According to an interview with Mat Prior “Fans can digest football 24/7 and have a window into footballer’s lives outside of matches that just wasn’t available before. I think it’s a side of football people are very interested in now and it’s a great opportunity to really innovate in FIFA 17.”
Concept Testing is basically the stage in the process, where a rough idea is chalked together and tested in different ways to test the functionality of the idea. In the case of FIFA 17, a focus group i.e. they usually invite a group of volunteers in their premises to test the game. Based on the feedback given, adjustments are made and an Alpha version is released for further testing.
Only after the product is refined several times through feedback, and is at a point where it should be tried in a real setting but is still not ready for a commercial roll-out, is the Beta Testing stage of the process. This is the exact point where FIFA 17 is positioned at now. FIFA 17 follows the closed beta testing pattern i.e. only a restricted number of users receive an invite to test the game and provide feedback, before the final product is launched in the market for the public.
This is one of the final stages of production… which means the launch is just round the corner!!!
And launch is the final stage of production, where the product is commercially rolled out in the market with the goal to be successful, in this case around September end for FIFA 17….
Whether FIFA 17 will score a goal with their fans… is something we’ll have to wait and watch!
An interesting concept, which I can’t wait to try out!!
What about you???
Iacobucci, D-MM4 Book
Annacchino, M. (2007). The pursuit of new product development. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann.
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