The foot-to-ball season is over! What does that mean? More foot-to-ball! 2014 is a World Cup year, which means we get to experience the sport being played at the highest level combined with naturally increased levels of drama, excitement, disappointment and tabloid controversy. Who will become this tournament's national pariah? It's anyone's game!
It also means EA has another opportunity to stick you/me for more money in exchange for basically the same game. This year they're offering up the World Cup not as an expansion or a standalone product at least, but as a free addition to the microtransaction-funded FIFA14 Ultimate Team mode. This is good, because it's technically free. This is bad, because it's "technically" free. There's a trailer below which explains everything. Sort of.
Sidenote #1: Would it be great if the PC version of FIFA14 held parity with the next-generation release, rather than the 360 and PS3 versions? Or if they were to differentiate the games - which run on different engines and with different physics - in some way, as if to indicate the difference? Let's change the name of FIFA14 to FIFA13.5 and be done with it.
Sidenote #2: EA Sports recently launched FIFA World - their free-to-play, Ultimate Team-only football game - into open beta around the world. Did you know that the FIFA points you buy with real money in FIFA14 can't be used in FIFA World? Even though it's all tied to the same Origin account? That's some kind of bullshit.
Unfortunately it's the kind of bullshit I can't resist; the allure of virtual football stickers, the gentle thrill of watching stats increase; scoring goals and brick falling against anonymous online opponents. Come May 29th, I'll be there, controller in hand, wallet by my side, tears in my eyes.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm excited for this in spite of, well, everything.