Geneva, Switzerland and London, UK â€“ October 13, 2010 — FIFA, the worldâ€™s governing body of soccer, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that the seventh FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) â€“ the worldâ€™s only official FIFA soccer gaming competition – will kick off on November 1, 2010.Â The worldâ€™s 24 best players will be determined through a series of online and offline qualifiers competing with EA SPORTSâ„¢ FIFA Soccer 11 on PlayStationÂ®3 (PS3â„¢).Â Those players will meet at the FIWC Grand Final to play for the title of FIFA Interactive Player of the Year, a $20,000 cash prize and the money canâ€™t buy experience of shaking hands with the worldâ€™s best players at the FIFA Ballon dâ€™Or Gala in Zurich.Â Â
Last yearâ€™s FIWC saw a record number of entrants, with over 775,000 players from around the world competing both online and at local qualifying events for a coveted place in the Grand Final.Â The winner was 22-year-old Nenad Stojkovic of Cleveland, Ohio, who became the first competitor from the United States to capture the crown.
For the first time in the tournamentâ€™s history, the FIWC 2011 will be split into six mini seasons lasting 25 days each, beginning on the first of every month, from November 2010 through to 25 April 2011. The top two players from each of these seasons will go through to the Grand Final for their chance to be crowned FIFA Interactive Player of the Year.
In addition to the online qualifying seasons, players also have the chance to participate in one of ten live qualifier events that will be held around the world.Â The live event winners will join the winners of the online qualifiers in the Grand Final. Details of these events and their location will be released over the coming weeks at www.FIFA.com/FIWC.
â€œWe are excited to announce the return of the FIWC for its seventh season,â€ said Matt Bilbey, VP Soccer, EA SPORTS. â€œSince the very first FIWC, the tournament has gone from strength to strength and to have over 775,000 entrants last year was a true testament to the status the tournament now enjoys within the soccer fan community. This year, with EA SPORTSâ„¢ FIFA Soccer 11 delivering the most authentic soccer experience ever created on the PS3â„¢, we hope to see even more soccer fans vying for the FIWC crown!â€
â€œThe success of The FIFA Interactive World Cup not only shows the passion for EA SPORTSâ€™ FIFA games, but also the strength of PlayStationÂ®Network,â€Â said Darren Carter, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.Â â€œIt is the community that makes this competition so strong and we look forward to bringing new and exciting experiences to the FIFA Interactive World Cup in 2011.â€