Soccer fans across the globe can now let their whiny expressions carry through three rings as Konami announced on Monday that FIFA 2022 will be heading into an eight-week tournament on the Street Fighter XIV, Mortal Kombat XL, and DmC games’ mobile platforms. It isn’t the first time FIFA and Capcom had come together; in 2012, FIFA 18 was released as a sports game, and there were plans to produce FIFA 18 for smartphones and televisions. But with team in a never-ending ongoing worldwide soccer war, FIFA focused on mobile platforms.
Amid these times of astonishingly maddening globalization of sports, you might think it appropriate that World Cups’ intellectual property should be invading the smartphones and tablets of puny sports fans everywhere. Sadly, such is not the case. The 2018 FIFA World Cup featured finals matches in various venues such as Russia, Croatia, Qatar, and Japan. Millions of fanatics around the world followed the action on a variety of screens, from television sets to the most powerful gaming devices. But while such global streams of football made the greatest possible impression on the imagination, they were missing one key thing: the incredible work of research and development by the different digital operating systems teams to effectively advance their app’s own respective technology. By the end of 2018, FIFA had optimized the use of innovative features such as doppler radar for games in the app. Meanwhile, Apple and Google continue to develop the capabilities of their online apps, improving things such as augmented reality and transforming visual environments in games such as Pokémon Go.
Granted, FIFA 2022 is not quite the same as that. According to gamers’ collective reviews, FIFA’s own soccer game is less than excellent, a mediocre product showcasing largely boring players and playing only the once-per-match Olympics. FIFA’s most recent main international competitions in Brazil, Germany, and France 2017 were marred by slow scores and dodgy officiating. The game is also inferior to Microsoft’s “Forza Motorsport 7” and Nintendo’s “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.” However, nonetheless, FIFA still has a lot of life left in it.
Of course, in-game infrastructure is only one aspect of the tech that powers mobile apps. At this point, this article could be written on hardware embedded into the device and gameplay there. This article cannot be written on a website that requires us to play for hours on end, download hours of slow-moving dreck, and then visit various casinos. Though FIFA is flawed, and deserves better, there is plenty of support among the gaming community for such a game. If the publisher wants to cut some material as the development process progresses, it is in the fans’ hands.
Read more: The Verge