It’s still far too early to realistically speculate on what FIFA 21 will bring, especially considering we’re awaiting FIFA 20. That said, by the time that FIFA 21 finally does arrive, we will likely be sitting in the next generation of consoles. This raises the question – what might be possible with the technology of this time?
The most obvious example, based on prior experience, is that of improved graphical fidelity. A new generation brings new potential and, while it tends to take a couple of years for developers to properly get a hold of what is possible, the immediate extra overhead means that even early titles will benefit from a new standard in visuals.
More importantly, the increased processing power opens up the possibility for better physical simulations. FIFA already has the best physics in football gaming and has made great strides in developing these systems to the top tier of what sports gaming can offer. This, despite the fact that, in modern terms, the GPUs of the current generation of consoles are somewhat lacking. Open these up to more than five years of improvement and who knows just how realistic these next incarnations could be.
Other hopes for the next entries in the series are born from the improving infrastructure and involvement which fans from all walks of life have seen with football as a whole. Greater interest in football means that EA will inevitably seek new avenues of engagement, as we have already seen with related industries.
There are many possible avenues of growth available through this growing popularity, and they aren’t simply tied to traditional football games either. LeoVegas Sports, for example, has opened up their casino to imaginative new developments in the form of an inventive card game. Here, players pit two cards representing teams against each other, with the winner informed through recent game statistics. Backed by a realistic commentary track for added engagement, this has proven successful for the service and, if they can do so well, then the possibilities for a long-running series like FIFA run even deeper.
In terms of what form this could take for FIFA, there are a couple of recently opened avenues which remain untapped and highly desirable for fans. The first is the promise held by cloud gaming. In effect, this would stream gameplay via the internet to any device with a solid connection, which is easier than ever with new 5G technology. This means that players could enjoy a console-like experience anywhere, even with a device like a mobile phone.
The second avenue is the recently opened cross-platform viability. While this concept has existed for some time, it is only recently that Sony has finally gotten on board in a major way. This means players over all consoles could soon game together, leading to a wider community with which to compete, and a healthier overall online life-cycle.
Who knows, we might even see a level of VR integration into the FIFA series, the baseline of which has already been prototyped. Controlling players from the sideline or the stands might not be the best or easiest way to play, but we’d be sure to give it a go on interest alone.
So, what do you hope to see from FIFA after the 20th entry?