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FIFA 09 Owners Played 141 Million Online Matches

As it adds a new downloadable game mode, Electronic Arts says FIFA Soccer 09 is the most popular EA Sports title played online -- owners have played over 141 million online matches since launch.
Electronic Arts says FIFA Soccer 09 is the most popular EA Sports title played online -- owners have played over 141 million online matches since the game launched for PS3 and Xbox 360 in October 2008. According to EA, gamers play an average of 1.25 million online matches with FIFA 09 daily, a 321 percent increase over the average amount played with FIFA 08. "Online is the next great frontier in sports gaming," says the FIFA franchise's VP and executive producer Andrew Wilson. "We are seeing a record number of individuals globally playing FIFA Soccer 09 online so we are focused on developing games that maximize the online experience." Also released for PC, Wii, Nintendo DS, PS2, PSP, N-Gage, and mobile, FIFA 09 has gone on to sell over 7.8 million units worldwide, in a challenging period for EA -- many of its other titles underperformed during the holiday months in both the U.S. and Europe. Alongside the online gaming figures, EA revealed an upcoming downloadable game mode coming March 19th called FIFA 09 Ultimate Team for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. The mode enables players to develop a fantasy team composed of the world's most talented soccer players (or user-created characters), and then compete online against other similarly formed teams. Players can collect 30 different types of virtual cards -- such as Player, Staff, Contract, Formations, Tactics, and Gameplay cards -- to manage their team on and off the pitch. In addition to creating players, they can customize stadiums, kits, and badges. League tables and knockout tournaments are also available. Though users will need to pay for FIFA 09 Ultimate Team when the new mode releases on March 19th, a five-game trial will be released with a starter package of players and virtual cards. "A dedicated team developed FIFA 09 Ultimate Team and they have created a game within the game, delivering a strategic new way to play FIFA Soccer 09 that will create hundreds of additional hours of playing time," Wilson says.

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