FIFA Street's producer Sid Misra has been pretty honest about the history of the franchise, suggesting that the overall quality of previous games in the series was lacking, particularly FIFA Street 3. But he says that the team has learned from previous mistakes, and that they've overhauled their approach to the game's engine and art direction for the upcoming reboot.
Part of the problem with previous games, according to Misra, was that they were using the wrong foundations - creating a football game without a football-oriented engine.
"FIFA Street 1 and 2 actually did quite well," said Misra, talking to Gamasutra. "They were very popular in terms of sales, but the thing is, they were not that popular in terms of their overall quality. Those teams took on the additional challenge of using rendering engines from other games and not the gameplay engine from FIFA -- basically, they were trying to build a street football game without a football engine underneath it.
"FIFA Street 3 in particular left a bad taste in people's mouths. The art style wasn't really well received, and I think that's partly an indication of where the overall game quality was. That's partially why we used the FIFA engine for our game."
With the upgrades that were made to the FIFA engine this year - integrating Precision Dribbling, Tactical Defending and the (often hilarious) Impact Engine - there have been obvious benefits to working with an engine designed for such a detailed recreation of the sport in a spin-off that relies much upon exhibitions of technical and physical skill.
"For us to make a good street football game, we had to have an engine flexible enough to do a physical game like they play in London or a stylish game like they play in Rio," Misra said. "We think that the things people can do in street football already are pretty amazing. If we can capture that properly, by definition FIFA Street will be a more arcadey game [than FIFA 12]."
Indeed, Misra says that the team is keen to ensure that although they're working with the FIFA 12 engine, Street is much "more than just FIFA with walls [around the field]."
You can read our own interview with Sid Misra here.