Interview with Gerald Köhler – FIFA Manager 07 Producer

Gerald Köhler

Gerald Koehler is the Executive Producer of EA Sports FIFA Manager 07 at Bright Future GmbH. FIFPlay’s reporter, Schah, has a chance to interview Mr Koehler at the Games Convention 2006 in Leipzig to help you know the FM Creator even better. Here you can find the interview text.

Would You Please Introduce Yourself Gerald?
My name is Gerald Köhler, I was born in Lauda in Germany, on 30th March 1969. I’ve started working at EA in April 2000, and in April 2006 we have founded Bright Future GmbH company to develop football-management games for EA. In all these years I have worked as a Game Designer on the EA Sports football manager games.

How did you come up with management game, when was your first time you played a management video-game? I started in 1987 during a computer course at school. We were a little bit bored and started to write our own little football simulation, which became “Kicker” and finally “Anstoss”, also known as “On the Ball” in the UK.

Do you play FIFA or FIFA Manager at your free time? Hey, I’m busy with the game for 10-12 hours a day and it won’t lie and tell you that I’m of course playing these games also at home. Actually I’m currently just playing some little Nintendo DS games. My favourite game is Dr Kawashima, I’m addicted to the calculating game. I’m down to 59 seconds for 100 questions 🙂

What is your favourite club, and who is you favourite footballer and coach?
My favourite club is VfB Stuttgart, my favourite footballer is Fernando Meira, and my favourite coach is Christoph Daum.

Last summer, at FIFA World Cup 2006 Germany we have seen brand new management systems almost from every nation; some young managers like Juergen Klinsmann have shown the beginning of a new coaching era, could this impress your FIFA Manager development?
I wouldn’t call it brand new. There were some interesting new aspects but the basics for a successful team are always the same. Klinsmann simply made sure that he had team with a good fitness and a great team spirit. The film about it is fun to watch, which is called “Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen” (English: “Germany. A summer’s tale”) and it gives some great insights on it.

Apart from that, the World Cup was just an incredibly great time, Cologne was one of the host cities and we were close to the events and even watched some matches. The most impressive moments were the 1-0 last minute goal against Poland, the loudest moment I’ve ever experienced in a stadium, and the final party in Berlin with 1 million people. Just awesome stuff I’ll never forget.

At FIFPlay we collect the fans wishlist & ideas for FIFA Manager 08. There are currently some ideas such as youth markets, Women’s football, data exchange between FM and other management games etc … What do you think about those things?
Youth market is important. This is something we will consider. Women’s football is not on our list at the moment. And data exchange between the management games is something we won’t support because this is legally very dangerous. There are competing databases and this is a good thing especially for you as the player.

Is There any plan to develop FM Next-Gen for Xbox 360 and PS3?
At the moment we are all happy that we have completed the PC version. Now we’ll think about the future projects.

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