EA Sports announced Tuesday that the soccer title it publishes in 2023 would be part of the new EA Sports FC brand, doing away with the FIFA name the series has used since the days of the Sega Genesis and Super NES. The announcement marks a significant break for one of the oldest and most popular continuous franchises in video game history. This story originally appeared on Ars Technica, a trusted source for technology news, tech policy analysis, reviews, and more. Ars is owned by WIRED's parent company, Condé Nast. "We're thankful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement.
The wildly popular FIFA video-game series will be rebranded EA Sports FC next year, its publisher Electronic Arts said on Tuesday, ending a three-decade relationship with football's governing body. Launched in 1993, a generation of millions of football fans and gamers across the globe grew up playing the game and it became a huge money-spinner. But "months of tense negotiations" between California-based Electronic Arts (EA) and governing body FIFA failed to end in an agreement to extend the partnership, The New York Times reported. FIFA reportedly wanted the $150 million it gets annually from EA to be increased to $250 million or more. The game has more than 150 million player accounts, according to EA, and The New York Times said it had generated more than $20 billion in sales over the past two decades.
Thanks to separate licensing agreements, EA Sports can keep most of its features even after its breakup with FIFA. Among those agreements are a deal with FIFPRO, the global players union, that was recently renewed and will allow the game to maintain player names and likenesses. EA also has deals with the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, MLS and UEFA Champions League, among others. Each organization released comments of support to go with EA's official announcement Tuesday.
Michelob Ultra and ESPN have decided to use AI to answer an enduring question: what would happen if tennis legend John McEnroe played against himself? An upcoming ESPN special entitled "McEnroe vs. McEnroe" will feature the 63-year-old star, who retired from singles competition in 1992, playing against a complicated, AI-trained version of himself. According to TechCrunch, the process for the actual game is fairly involved. After the real McEnroe sends a ball over the net, the AI avatar responds to its direction and "swings" -- at this point, a new ball is launched from a ball cannon, which is obscured by a smokescreen. The positioning of the ball cannon and smokescreen are designed to make the ball appear as if it's coming off the avatar's racket.
If you start counting what's actually new to Overwatch so far -- one hero, a few maps, a new game mode called Push -- you might find yourself disappointed. And plenty of people are. The YouTuber Jason Gastrow, known as Videogamedunkey, called the beta "a minor patch to an abandoned game" in a review that has more than 3 million views. But there's reason to be optimistic. Players, coaches and commentators in the Overwatch League have been testing the early version of the sequel for weeks now, preparing for the fifth season of the Overwatch League, which kicked off on Thursday.
The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics are memorable for a lot of things – the jetpack at the opening ceremony, the historic performance by Carl Lewis, the greater focus on female athletes – but for nerds of a certain age, they will always be remembered for something quite different: broken joysticks. This was the first Olympic tournament of the mass video game era and it prompted a whole new genre of sports sims, designed to replicate the physical exertion of actually doing sport. I can just about recall watching the real Los Angeles games on TV, but it was the household tournaments I held with friends that really bring back memories. There's some disagreement over where the multi-sport sim originated. At the burgeoning games studio Activision, pioneering designer David Crane had thought for a long time about making a sport game that simulated physical effort and his title The Activision Decathlon, arrived in late 1983, riding the growing hype for the LA Olympics to come. It allowed players to compete in 10 events, waggling the joystick left and right as quickly as possible to run faster and jump higher.
I'm Keza, the Guardian's friendly local video games editor (and writer of our games newsletter Pushing Buttons), taking over this week's Guide to fill you in on what's worth playing while you wait for the next episode of Better Call Saul to drop. Whether you're in the mood for a vibey skateboarding game, pretend badminton or a grand fantasy epic, 2022 has been very kind to us so far. You never know, I might be able to persuade you otherwise.) First up, a game that seems directly aimed at everyone who's ever taken a look at a Mondrian painting and said "But anyone could have done that": Please, Touch The Artwork (PC, smartphones) is a puzzle game about abstract art, telling the genre's origin story by letting you mess around with iconic paintings, trying to recreate their lines and colours. It makes you think about the art, how it's constructed and what it means, and it's also chill and unpressured, with no time limits or objectives to hurry you through.
This month, we get stuck into AI and consciousness. This topic has long been much-discussed, and especially so recently with one tweet in particular sparking a debate online. Joining the discussion this time are: Tom Dietterich (Oregon State University), Stephen Hanson (Rutgers University), Sabine Hauert (University of Bristol), Holger Hoos (Leiden University), Sarit Kraus (Bar-Ilan University) and Michael Littman (Brown University). Stephen Hanson: So, the topic of consciousness has come up a lot recently in discussions on the Connectionists. This area of cognitive science was pretty much wiped out in the first five years of NeurIPS [Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems].
This is AI-power for digital ART, a newsletter about Art & AI technology to transform the way that people experience the world.. Every time we take on something new, we enter into an entirely new era, whether it be taking up soccer or starting college, or entering our first relationship (or breaking up). The future is all unknown territory until you step in and pave your own path. But how can you do that when you’re so scared of what could happen? Data-Driven Fiction is here to help you break free from such fears and take a step into the future.