EA's Free Footie Game 'FIFA Online' Going Worldwide

EA has announced that its free-to-play PC multiplayer football--"soccer," if you're wrong--game-cum-RPG FIFA Online is to begin rolling out worldwide this year, having previously been available only in certain Asian countries, starting with Europe in June.

On top of regular footie matches, FIFA Online boasts a league that "enables fans to manage and compete as their favorite soccer club." Unusually for a football game but quite typically for a free-to-play game birthed in Asia, FIFA Online lets you upgrade your players with items which can be purchased with in-game currency or microtransactions.

This aspect is likely to be treated with suspicion by many in the wake of changes to item prices in EA's free-to-play Battlefield Heroes, which some claimed made it heavily favour those who bought items with real-world dosh rather than the in-game currency.

The English-language open beta will launch in Europe in June, spreading to other European languages then North America "over the next 12 to 24 months." A closed beta kicks off on February 3, at first featuring a 2010 World Cup tournament.

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