The first edition of the FIFA video game series was released in 1993. Over the years, the annual release of the latest edition has become something of an event in the gaming community, with aficionados of the franchise eagerly awaiting the updated version of the game. In all the years since the launch of the first edition of the game, various biggest football stars of the moment have appeared on the cover to entice sports fans to make the purchase. And this year, for the first time, the coveted cover feature a woman as US forward Alexandra Morgan will share the space with Argentine forward Lionel Messi in the US version of the game. Australia and Canada will also follow suit, featuring Steph Catley and Christine Sinclair respectively.
In the 80s, after the rest of the world turned its back on David Hasselhoff, the German fans stuck with their bare-chested man. And although his slow-motion running along the beach and his talking car do play a part in this fame, it is in fact his singing career that has made him a staple on television screens in the country in the latter parts of the decade.
In an effort to share the festivities with the Kiwis and expats who aren’t fortunate enough to be in Brazil for the World Cup, TVNZ’s Blacksand has set up an ad-hoc carnival in Auckland. Placing the seemingly innocuous duo of a mini-goal and a football alongside a ‘kick me’ sign, the Blacksand team waited out of sight, with their cameras ready, for any passersby to take the bait. Those who did kick the ball into the net were then caught off gaurd by an impromptu carnival made up of football players, samba dancers, capoeira performers and fans from all over the world.
After the stunning All Whites victory last night, which 593,800 Kiwis watched on TV One and 150,500 watched on Sky, FIFA’s worst nightmare, a New Zealand vs South Africa final, is still on the cards. And while a range of lying geeks pull numbers out of the air in an attempt to quantify how much the “lost productivity” will cost the nation, stunning new research by StopPress reveals the victory has actually made the nation more than $45 million in terms of increased patriotism (text received after final whistle: “I am having kittens. I have died and gone to heaven. I love sports.”) and vuvuzela sales. Anyway, everyone knows the result of the match (apparently we’re part of Australasia now). But who’s winning the World Cup brand wars?