EA Sports has signed up with the Premier League in a deal that will not only see the popular FIFA football-sim series keep its incredible detail, it will also result in the games giant becoming more involved with the real action.
This means a new player performance index (hopefully Mr Capello won't be involved in this one) where an array of different stats will be available - from distances and speeds players have run, to the speed of their shots, or the force encountered by goalkeepers when saving shots. There will also be a team of the week based on the stats that EA comes up with.
The Premier League's director of sales and marketing, Richard Masters, said:
“We are extremely pleased that EA Sports has had the foresight to enter into this exciting new partnership that will connect with Barclays Premier League fans in new and inventive ways. Fans have a thirst for statistics and information and that is something that the Premier League, working with EA Sports, will provide to a level not seen before in professional football”.
As well as the stats, EA will also be heavily involved with the Premier League's broadcasting. Its branding will appear on your TV whenever you see live match stats (in the UK and abroad) and broadcasters will also use EA's tech with real-time action to provide footie-fans enhancements with the match day broadcast.
Well, anything that makes Stoke v Blackpool a bit more exciting sounds good to us.
The Premier League season kicks off on Saturday 14 August when Man City travel to London to take on Spurs. Expect to see some real Champions League quality in that one, along with 11 Tottenham players as well.
EA Sports' FIFA 11 is due out on 28 September in North America and 3 days after that in Europe. It will be available on all modern consoles as well as a version for your mobile device as well.