The Evolution of Football Games

The various developments in the world of technology have affected our lives in countless ways. From how we stay in touch with others and get around town to entertainment options, we can notice many changes. For example, avid gamers have certainly seen their favourite genres evolve over time. Some of the most popular kinds of games are definitely football games. So, let’s go over the history of these two genres and how they became what they are today.


How football games evolved

While the FIFA franchise might be the most popular at the moment, it’s vital to note that football games existed before the first edition of this series came out in 1993.

In the 1970s, Atari’s game Pong, which came out in 1972, was adapted and allowed players to play tennis, squash, hockey, and football. However, it didn’t feel like watching or playing a real game. In 1979, Mattel came out with Intellivision Soccer, which added color to football games.

In the 1980s, the genre saw more titles that were slowly but surely improving the quality of the game. First of all, there was Pelé’s Soccer from 1981 that was released for Atari 2600. Then, International Soccer on the Commodore 64 came out in 1983. While there were no fouls or offsides, this game was a huge leap in terms of experience as it introduced animated crowds. Kevin Toms’ Football Manager and Match Day were launched around the same time, thus providing players with more options. However, it was Dino Dini’s Kick Off that took football games to the next level. With a bird’s eye view, overhead kicks, and other features, this game and its sequel really made football games enjoyable.

The 1990s saw another Dini game Goal! as well as Sensible Soccer and Championship Manager (which evolved into Football Manager – not Toms’ – later on). In 1993, EA released its first football game, FIFA International Soccer, which featured an isometric view instead of a bird’s eye one. It became the best-selling video game of the year and EA releases new titles annually. Since 1996, they were allowed to use real players’ names as well. Actua Soccer also had four editions in the 1990s while there was also a video game to support the Euro ’96 tournament. Furthermore, Manchester United had its own official game as well, from 1990 to 2005.

The 2000s started the battle between the FIFA series and Pro Evolution Soccer, which was developed and released by Konami. If you’re a passionate FIFA player, you’ve surely followed how the game evolved over the last two decades and the whole FIFA vs PES (now eFootball) rivalry. You surely know that they are both among the best-selling video game franchises and that they both have a huge following that even led to esports leagues that players can compete in.

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