Geneva, SWITZERLAND - 11 October, 2006 - FIFA, the world governing body of football, Xbox, the world's most powerful video game and entertainment system and Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, today announced the third annual FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC), marking a hat-trick for the global football gaming competition. Starting on the 27th of October, football fans from around the world will have the opportunity to compete in the world's only FIFA-sanctioned global video game tournament. The competition combines on and offline next generation football gaming action using FIFA 07 on Xbox 360. This year's tournament will offer more football gamers the chance to be crowned FIFA Interactive World Player 2006, with the winner being invited to the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich on the 18th December 2006, and for the first time in the history of the tournament, receiving a cash prize of US$20,000.
The FIFA Interactive World Cup 2006 will be one of the most exciting events in the interactive sports calendar. Prospective contestants worldwide will be able to practice their moves and hone their skills by playing the FIFA 07 demo which is available now on Xbox Marketplace.
Last year, Xbox Live entrant Chris Bullard from Ipswich, England emerged victorious having defeated Gabor Mokos, of Kecskemét, Hungary in an intense final at The Brewery in London. This year, competitors can attend one of the many FIWC06 Qualifier Events or enter the Xbox Live tournaments in 25 countries, from Mexico to France and from Taiwan to Scotland. Players will be able to register to take part from 1st November 2006 and can find more details at www.FIFA.com
"The FIFA Interactive World Cup unites the passion for football with the world of interactive entertainment. Gamers are battling it out for an official FIFA award that places interactive football in the same bracket as its offline parent competitions - the various FIFA World Cups played on traditional means. We are pleased that we are able to pay tribute to this special category of football players and are greatly looking forward to this year's already third edition. The FIFA Interactive World Cup gives us the chance to further promote the game on a complete different level", says Urs Linsi, FIFA General Secretary.
Hopeful competitors can simply turn up to compete in the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifier Events in the following locations:
Brazil, Sao Paolo, Saturday, 18th November
Denmark, Copenhagen, Saturday, 18th November
Spain, Madrid, Friday 24th / Saturday 25th November
South Africa, Johannesburg, Saturday, 25th November
Hungary, Budapest, Friday 25th / Saturday 26th November
Germany, Oberhausen, Saturday, 02nd December
Up to 20 additional qualifier events will take place across the globe, including tournaments in the US, UK, the Netherlands, Russia and many more. FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifier Events will offer a host of activities away from the competition for players and spectators such as real-life football skills test area, live music from up and coming DJ's. For more information on the locations and dates of the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifiers, visit the event section on www.FIFA.com
Local winners from each of the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifier Events will progress to the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final in Amsterdam on the 9th of December 2006. This year will see the largest group of finalists to date, with 128 of the cream of interactive football talent competing to be recognised as the world's best. In the new format of the finals, this year's winner will also get to test his or her skills against the finalists from the previous two FIWC tournaments. The winner will be able to take home a cash prize of US $20,000 and will also receive an all expense paid trip to Zurich for the FIFA World Player Gala on Monday 18th December, where this year's real life football stars will be awarded.
"We're thrilled to work with our friends at FIFA and Xbox to bring the third FIFA Interactive World Cup to football fans and gamers across the world," said Clive Downie, Vice President International Marketing, EA. "This year, we're putting contestants even closer to the virtual football action with all new FIFA 07 gameplay action on the Xbox 360. Check out the exclusive demo of the game on Xbox Live Marketplace and start practising for your chance to take home the ultimate winner's prize of $20,000 and a trip to the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich."
"We're really excited to be part of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2006 exclusively bringing next generation high-definition football gaming action to players across the globe with FIFA 07. It's great to be hosting the connected gaming tournaments on Xbox Live giving our 3 million members worldwide the chance be part of this great competition and take on their friends." said Richard Teversham, Head of Marketing, Xbox Europe.
FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 heralds the start of the next generation of football gaming with the dynamic new EA SPORTS engine and all-new gameplay. Moving away from the traditional animation-based game engine, raw physics and data now drive the action, creating true-to-life movement, an unprecedented level of responsiveness and the most advanced visuals seen in a football game. For the first time ever the ball is alive with its own independent physics, resulting in truly unpredictable gameplay. Now any type of pass or shot is possible and goals feel natural and unique. The new engine creates a wealth of data, including never-before-experienced real-time player analysis that gives you the power to make real tactical decisions when managing your players. Partner the new engine with the most innovative and extensive online feature sets to date, with 4 v 4 and streaming real world news, FIFA 07 truly blurs the lines between videogames and reality.
To request the Official Emblem of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2006, please fill out the marks request form for media on www.FIFAdigitalarchive.com.
For more than 100 years, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, founded on 21 May 1904 in Paris and better known as FIFA, has continued to provide the essential leadership role to the international football family. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the eighth FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter (Switzerland), guides the organisation today with a commitment to the evolution of FIFA as a modern and dynamic association. The basis of the world's football family is formed by FIFA's member associations. From the founding seven in 1904, the family has today grown to 207 affiliated associations, also organised into six confederations spanning the globe. FIFA's worldwide activities go well beyond its various competitions, such as the world's biggest single-sport event, the FIFA World Cup. In projects such as the FIFA GOAL Programme as well as several other development and charity activities such as the SOS Children Villages, UNICEF and streetfootballworld, FIFA gives material, financial and promotional support to develop the game and bring joy to underprivileged worldwide. For further details on FIFA's events and activities please go to www.FIFA.com.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. The system was first launched in North America, Europe and Japan in 2005 and then in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 24 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.