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Behind Closed Doors: FIFA 17

Gareth Reeder, Producer for FIFA 17 Ultimate Team, shares his experiences from gamescom.


Garreth Reeder is the Producer for FIFA Ultimate Team 17. Prior to joining the FUT team, Garreth was leading early concept development for FIFA 17.

In his 13-year career at EA, he has worked primarily on online modes since FIFA 12, as well as the NBA and NHL franchises. We met Reeder at the FIFA 17 booth in the EA Business Lounge and asked him about his impression of gamescom.

What does it mean for you and your team to be at gamescom?

It’s my first year at gamescom – I’ve done EA PLAY, E3 and other events, but gamescom feels so much bigger. It is the one big convention in Europe and so many people from our fan base are in Europe. It’s amazing to talk to all the players and the press here, they are such big fans of FIFA!

You’re at gamescom for the first time. What was your first impression?

It was really cool.  I first went to the EA booth on the show floor – I was impressed to see the scale of the FIFA 17, Battlefied 1 and Titanfall 2 booths.I was amazed by the numberof people who came to play. Here in the Game Village in our Business Lounge, we had the biggest fans of our games coming through to play along with media and other partners – the response has been great. 

What is the best part about presenting a new FIFA game to your guests?

The best thing for me is when I love the content and features we are showing. With FIFA 17 being as big as it is, and with so many different modes and ways to play, it’s easy to find something that will excite the person you are speaking with. It’s been really easy to talk to everyone so far and everyone is excited to play the game.

What’s the vibe at the FIFA 17 booth in the Business Lounge like?

Here at the Business Lounge, our booth is full from the start at 10 am until it closes, and the 20 consoles in the lounge are full the entire time. Some people are staying here for hours to play the game. We have a nice mix of fans and influencers here and we really want to get them hands-on with the game for as long as they want to play, so they can give us the best feedback possible.

What has been the feedback by the players so far?

It’s been awesome. The feedback to our livestream has been huge across gameplay, The Journey, FIFA Ultimate team, everything’s been great. And on the Show Floor, just talking to the fans and the different people – it’s been overwhelmingly positive. It’s also great to take the player feedback to the teams in Vancouver and Bucharest. 

For those who have not been here yet: Can you describe the FIFA experience that visitors can look forward to at gamescom?

I think for any FIFA fan, coming to gamescom is their chance to play the game early, give feedback on it, and talk to other football and videogame fans. I’d definitely recommend any FIFA fan to go to gamescom and check it out early.

What are most noteworthy new features in FIFA 17? What should visitors pay extra attention to during their hands-on FIFA experience at gamescom?

In summary, there’s two big things – one is The Journey, which is our new cinematic story mode powered by our new engine, Frostbite (Xbox One, PS4, PC). It’s based on a new character Alex Hunter, who is trying to make it into the Premier League – for me that feature is what I always wanted in a sports game, living the life of a footballer.

And then, for our most popular mode, FIFA Ultimate Team, we’ve got two new really big features: FUT champions, which is our new competitive online mode and Squad Building Challenges, which is a new and fun way to build different squads and players and get great in-game awards.  So I think FIFA Ultimate Team and The Journey, along with all of the benefits from Frostbite, are the big two or three big reasons to come and play FIFA 17.

Want to learn more about FIFA 17? Click here to read about all the features of the new game.

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