FIFA 21 Ultimate Team Key Facts:
Launch
Date: 5th October 2020
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Status: Worldwide
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One,
Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia,
Microsoft Windows
Genre: Sport
Similar to: eFootball (formerly Pro Evolution Soccer)

What is it?

For the unfamiliar, Ultimate Team is a stealth free-to-play CCG (Collectible Card Game) nested within the FIFA franchise’s premium titles. FIFA Ultimate Team (‘FUT’) is a mode separate from the core game with its own progression systems, game modes and economy.

The goal of FUT is to develop a dream team of all-star football…


The idea that developers and publishers of contemporary games can take meaningful, monetising lessons from the heritage of arcade gaming might sound counterintuitive.

Arcade gaming today is often thought of as a dwindling niche where a handful of players remain devotedly committed to punishingly difficult games that ostracise larger audiences.That model appears to have very little to teach today’s developers and publishers about mass market success. But arcade’s long history and heritage goes back much further, and has encompassed a great many more models and audiences. History is also commonly cyclical and repeated. …


The process of deconstruction can be fundamental in defining the success and quality of your next game project.

As such, understanding the process of ‘deconstruction’ could be considered a key skill within game design, yet it is so often misunderstood or given passing attention. Viewing a game through a deconstructive lens lets you build a mental model of the title being considered, including its function, successes, failures, and the behaviours it inspires in players.

At Department of Play we’ve shared a number of our own deconstructions here on the blog, and they commonly sit amongst our most well read content…


Launch Date: 6th April 2021
Status: Soft Launch (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland).
Genre: Strategy.
Similar to: Spooky Pop, Legend of Solgard, and Puzzle and Dragons.

What is it?

Clash Quest is a tactical puzzle RPG with clear influences from King’s Legend of Solgard and Supercell’s own discontinued Spooky Pop.

Clash Quest is one of three recently announced Supercell titles expanding upon the Clash franchise, and the first to enter soft launch.

Why is it important?

It’s no secret that, since 2015, Supercell has seen slow revenue decline year over year, with live-ops from current titles only able to maintain revenue. …


If you want to make a game that succeeds creatively and commercially, prototyping will almost certainly be a key step in the design and development process.

Prototyping serves as a point at which early ideas and concepts can be crystallised, pivoting the process of game design into the production pipeline phase. And while many design changes will likely be implemented after prototyping concludes, it can be powerful in defining your final product.

Chances are, if you’ve put any time into the study of game design and development, you already know that sketching out a game’s core elements is a vitally…


As a general concept, matchmaking is fundamentally simple.

It serves as a means to group players in online games, based on the experiences they are looking for, and the ability or skill level they bring. The motivation for matchmaking, of course, is about giving players a rewarding experience. Games are more enjoyable — and thus more engaging — if players are given just the right amount of challenge, or thrust into teams with a dynamic that suits their ability.

Robust, refined matchmaking isn’t just for the players’ sake, though. It equally matters to game studios and publishers because it directly…


In the midst of a year consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic, an atypical battle royale game emerged as something of a star of 2020. That game was Fall Guys, and for a few weeks after its launch on PC and PlayStation 4, it dazzled players, industry, press and brands alike.

Just a few months on, the Mediatonic-developed title appears to be struggling to retain players. Fall Guys has been a success in many ways, and should be celebrated as such. It has sold tremendously well, made a positive impact with regard to the games’ place in mainstream culture, provided a…


Beyond game design itself, there is perhaps no more vital effort in making a game successful than that of user acquisition.

After all, retaining and engaging players only begins when you have people downloading and playing your game. The notion of acquiring users in reality includes any way players find your game, including organic and word-of-mouth installs.

In this piece, however, we’ll be looking at formal and carefully planned UA approaches and processes that look to proactively find and secure more users for your game.

The art of user acquisition requires considerable effort analysing data, fine tuning content, A/B testing…


Joost Rietveld, Assistant Professor in Strategic Management at UCL School of Management returns to Department of Play with the second and final part of his look at the evolution of platforms — from digital game stores to the coming consoles. Part 1 can be found here. The insights presented in this series of articles are based on an academic study written by the author, and published in the Academy of Management Discoveries
Hearing stories and analysing data about game sales or downloads can be a bit of a mixed bag.

On the one hand, platforms like Steam and iOS boast…


In this specially contributed piece, Joost Rietveld, Assistant Professor in Strategic Management at UCL School of Management considers the evolution of platformsfrom digital game stores to the coming consolesand the developer strategies and revenue generation options that have emerged in tandem. The insights presented in this series of articles are based on an academic study written by the author, and published in the Academy of Management Discoveries.

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These are exciting times for game developers and gamers alike.

We have recently seen two new gaming platforms enter the market in the form of the Epic Games…

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