Interview with Darren Hedges

Darren Hedges is a FIFA 08 Online Producer and a ManUtd fan. He has been a Producer on FIFA for the Next Gen Platforms for the last two years.

Darren Hedges
What is the difference between FIFA 07 Online Play and FIFA 08’s? The biggest difference is the fundamentals. In the 07 FIFA game we knew that we hadn’t offered a good online experience previously on the FIFA titles. Our mantra for 07 was to make online as good as offline and I believe we achieved that. It was important for us to build a solid foundation to build on for the future of our Next Gen FIFA titles.
With 08 we take a few leaps forward and will offer some very compelling online features to the community this year which build upon the success we had online in 07. I can’t say too much about what those features are, however you will be excited.
Will EA expand its servers through other countries for 2008? We already have servers all over the world. These servers are constantly being monitored and upgraded to serve the community wherever they are.
Why don’t you offer a FIFA server version with which other third-party providers could launch their own FIFA server and offer their local service? Good question however we are not quite in a position to do that yet with our FIFA titles.
Disconnections, scoring direct from corner-kicks, cheating on online rating, low speed of servers and some other issues are the bugs at FIFA 07 online, will we see them in FIFA 08 Play Online? No I hope not. We are working hard to eradicate cheaters and server speed for this year. As for the exploits and goals from corners we have employed some of the best FIFA talent in the world to try and find these holes or FIFA goals in our 08 game and rest assured we do not want to ship with anything that is an easy goal.
What ability you would add to FIFA 08 if you were a producer for gameplay? Hmmm… I think you’ll see when the games released that we have added quite a lot to this year’s title. I think our gameplay guys have done an excellent job and I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
Which genre is the best one for FIFA 08’s EA Trax? We normally have picks on the EA Trax for FIFA from all musical genres so I’m not sure if there is a best one. We have some really good tracks this year for FIFA that I know most of you will enjoy while you play the game.
You are of course a football fan, what are your favourite team and favourite player? I’ve supported Manchester United since childhood and my favourite player would have to be either George Best or Marco Van Basten.

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