It’s been more than five years since a FIFA Street game came along – and for many fans, that’s far too long.
Although FIFA 18 gave a nod to the acclaimed series at the start of The Journey: Hunter Returns – it was underdeveloped and felt bolted on.
But is that as good as we’re going to get? Or, just as EA Sports did with Career Mode last year, will we see the cult football series return revamped?
For those unfamiliar with FIFA Street, it championed winning with style.
Matches were fast-paced five-a-side affairs, where pulling off incredible tricks and demonstrating flair was just as important as victory.
However, EA has channelled focus in the ‘full fat’ games of late – meaning Street has fallen by the wayside.
Still, that hasn’t stopped demand for a new entry reaching fever pitch. Hundreds of fans have even flocked to Reddit, demanding that EA releases a new game.
Although nothing has been confirmed, there have been a few interesting developments.
Last year a keen-eyed gamer spotted the FIFA Street servers had been reactivated – sparking rumours a return was imminent.
He wrote: “Was playing a bit of offline for nostalgia and noticed I connected to the EA servers. Went on the Xbox live part and sure enough it worked!!”
Although a ‘true’ reboot may not be what’s on the way, some speculate the game may coming to the EA Vault as part of the EA Access programme.
There’s also the possibility that EA could add a ‘Street’ mode as an add-on, either to FIFA 18 or as a flagship piece of content for FIFA 19.
After all – graphics have pretty much hit a glass ceiling for the time being, so EA needs to think of new features to garner interest.
In theory, a Street ‘mode’ would be incredibly easy to implement.
Simply create a few more smaller stadiums, add a new option on the menu then allocate a certain amount of server power to the lobbies. Or, just keep it local, harking back to the golden age of multiplayer gaming.
From a business perspective, a Street ‘mode’ would perhaps make the most sense – taking pressure off the title to sell on its own, instead allowing it to piggyback off FIFA 19’s imminent gargantuan sales curve.
Gamers could design and create their own kits, challenge others in an online FIFA Street Ultimate Team… the possibilities are endless.
As per the section in Hunter Returns, EA clearly has the tech and know-how to make this happen.
We’re convinced that gameplay segment was a testing bed to assess both feasibility of production as well as appetite for more of the same. Both tests passed with flying colours.
With EA making a huge song and dance about Frostibite this year, they’ll need another ace up their sleeve next year to keep fans excited.
FIFA Street could well be their secret weapon.