This year's game promises to please the ears as well as the eyes.
Featuring 39 artists from 15 different countries, FIFA12's soundtrack is highlighted by English rock band Kasabian and American newcomers Foster The People. Steve Schnur, who is Worldwide Executive of Music at EA is thrilled with the bands this soundtrack has been able to include and the impact it has had over the years.
"We’re very proud of the bands we’ve introduced to gamers around the world," said Schnur on a conference call. "Some bands make their first impressions through our games, be it FIFA, Madden here domestically and so on. There are so many millions of people who play FIFA and really do look to it to discover their new favorite artists or bands."
Kasabian was featured in FIFA Football 2004 with one its first sings, "L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever" and returns in FIFA12 with new single "Switchblade Smiles." Speaking for the band on the conference call, lead singer Tom Meighan spoke of his love for the series and how he's happy to be a part of it once more.
"For me, back in England, we’re huge on football...not soccer, football!" said Meighan, a Leicester City fan. "I remember FIFA being out in the mid-90s and it’s grown and grown into this massive game now and it’s great to be a part of it because it’s the best football game in the world. One of our first songs we put out was in an earlier version of the game about seven or eight years ago so it’s a real honor for us."
What's unique about FIFA is the global reach the game has as it's released worldwide and played by millions of people. This is huge for artists like Kasabian who maybe wouldn't be heard by certain music fans if it wasn't for its inclusion in the game.
"In other countries who maybe never hear us it’s important," said Meighan. "Radio stations are really dying out now and not what they used to be. You can hear music in many different ways today and FIFA is a huge empire of a game so we can reach all the corners of the world where people may not have heard us before."
Mark Foster of Foster The People echoed Meighan's sentiments in saying that exposure, especially for an up-and-coming outfit like his band, really helps move them in the right direction.
"I was really excited when we were asked to be in the game because I’ve been playing the last one like crazy," said Foster. "I played it all throughout our last tour and I got everyone on our bus into the game as well. The music on the game has really stuck out for me because it always features bands I’ve never heard of before. Sometimes with games you want to stop playing because the music sucks, but that’s not the case with FIFA."
The single "Call It What You Want" will be Foster The People's contribution to this year's game, a song that Foster describes as an "upbeat party song."
That type of memorable and high tempo song is what Schnur and the rest of the Music department at EA look for and something that Meighan tries to create for his band...when they aren't playing FIFA, that is."
“We play it on tour all the time, but [lead guitarist] Serge [Pizzorno] is really into it, it’s like a religion to him," said Meighan of his band's dedication to the franchise. "It’s a game you have to work at and really get involved with it. We’re all massive FIFA fans. Our music just has a certain energy to it and football is aggressive so it works when they come together."
Among the other 35 artists to be included on the soundtrack are Chase & Status, Cut Copy, Grouplove, Portugal. The Man, The Hives and TV On The Radio. FIFA12 will be available for purchase on Sept. 27 in North America.
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