Why EA FC creates a perfect opportunity for FIFA Street to return
For the first time in the history of the series, we saw EA Sports’ football title change its name after ending its longstanding partnership with FIFA to EA FC. The reasons behind the change are complicated and not really why we are here, but what is important is the name may have changed but not much else - which is why I think now is the perfect time to revive the long-dormant FIFA Street games.
It will have to be under a new name if it is to be made by EA Sports, something like EA FC: Street Football or even further developing Volta into a standalone game, meaning the name side of things and brand is already sorted. EA Sports is still the best option to develop the game and in my opinion, they’re sitting on a goldmine after the success the series had in the noughties.
It was never plain sailing for the series, with some entries being much more popular than others. But of the four games in the series so far; FIFA Street (2005), FIFA Street 2 (2006), FIFA Street 3 (2008) and FIFA Street (2012) they have largely been a success. None of them set the world on fire, but when the most recent game was released it still topped sales charts in the UK.
What's more, this would not need to be a full release anymore - we are now in an era where it can be an add on to the main game, or if we are really dreaming, put it into the main EA FC games, expanding on Volta to make it the real deal. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, it is time for the game to return.
Celebrating different cultures of football
The main reason why I think FIFA Street needs to return is to shine a light on a different type of football to the main games. You can still put in all the Ultimate Team, pack-opening mumbo jumbo that will no doubt make the company a fortune but show us a different kind of football - with an over-the-top arcade-style twist.
Many footballers found their passion for the game this way and it would be a great way to explore how other cultures celebrate the beautiful game. Volta attempts to do this, but it never quite captures the heart, joy and atmosphere of the FIFA Street series.
You could tie the game into World Cups going forward, a tournament we know will no longer make an appearance in EA FC after the break-up (or at least not fully licensed). This way you could emphasise the upcoming host nation and what better place to start than 2026 in Mexico - maybe Santiago Muñez can make an appearance.
Football, despite all its flaws, is a diverse game that can be enjoyed by different kinds of people from all walks of life, it is one of the few environments where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from you can still make it - there should be a game that celebrates this aspect of the sport and the culture diversity that comes with it.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Nothing hits harder than nostalgia and the last few years have proven that with how well remakes and remasters do in the industry. The most telling example recently is the Fortnite OG map that was so popular it broke records and has already been announced to be returning in the future - that’s for a map that isn’t even 10 years old yet.
Imagine the feeling of going back to this series after ten years, popping Ronaldinho back on the cover and letting the good times roll.
The time is now
To use Fortnite as an example again, Epic Games is beginning to make the game a platform - something more than the Battle Royale that made its name. There is now racing, a LEGO mode and all the Creative options too - it’s massive and the reason it dominates the industry is because there is always something else you can explore within the game to keep things fresh.
EA FC can do this for not just football games but sports games in general. Right now, it feels like it is more dominant than ever despite feeling weighted towards one game mode. There is a huge gap for different types of football games, and it won’t be long until FIFA finds a partner to continue developing games with, if EA is smart they will strike whilst the iron is hot.
It’s strange to think that Neymar Jr. is one of the sauciest players to kick a ball in recent times and yet he's never appeared in a FIFA street title. Real football is shifting away from flair, tricks and flicks but on the streets all around the world children are still trying flip-flaps and rainbow flicks because in the simplest of terms, it’s just pretty cool and at the end of the day it is meant to be fun.
I hope FIFA Street, or something of that ilk returns soon, especially now the women's game is growing year-on-year. The roster of players could be enormous and with all the Icons/Heroes in EA FC 24 it would be unbelievably exciting to see them link up in this style of game that captured perfectly the fun of having a kickabout with your pals.