FIFA 09 is the latest installment of Electronic Arts' FIFA Series of football video games. Developed by EA Canada, it is published by Electronic Arts worldwide under the EA Sports label. It was released on 3 October 2008 in Europe, 2 October 2008 in Australia and 14 October in North America.
The demo was released on 10 September for PC and on 11 September for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The PS3 and Xbox 360 demos were identical with the exception of the stadium used with the PS3 featuring the FIWC Stadium and the Xbox 360 version using the new Wembley Stadium.
There are different covers for the regional versions of FIFA 09. All covers feature Ronaldinho with different players for each region: North America version features Guillermo Ochoa and Maurice Edu, German cover features Kevin Kurányi, Italian cover features Daniele De Rossi, Irish cover features Richard Dunne, French cover features Franck Ribéry, and Karim Benzema, Hungarian cover features Balázs Dzsudzsák, Portuguese cover features Ricardo Quaresma, Spanish cover features Gonzalo Higuaín, Swiss cover features Tranquillo Barnetta and UK and Australian covers feature Wayne Rooney. After the North America cover had already been revealed, Maurice Edu signed for Scottish team Rangers F.C. and this caused the cover to be altered to feature Maurice in a US National Team shirt and Ronaldinho is changed to wearing his Milan shirt, so that a club shirt was featured.
It has been stated in an interview with David Rutter that there are over 250 improvements on the game.
Among the improvements in the new FIFA are improved responsiveness that allows for quicker release of the ball, greater urgency in the off-the-ball running, a new jostle system that takes into account the strength of the players when going shoulder to shoulder and subtle animations that enable players to take first-time shots.
Another of the edition's biggest changes is a completely revamped collision system, which calculates speed, weight and power when the players collide, as each player will have their own individual strength and power statistics depending on their body characteristics.
New goalkeeper technology has also been added which allows for better positioning, better reactions to saves and faster recovery after a save has been made.
A further improvement from FIFA 08 is the weather and time. Rain and snow can be switched on and off before games, which affects whether players wear gloves. Games can be played at either day, dusk or night, with the game eventually turning to night during games beginning at dusk, adding to the realistic feel of evening matches.
If a player is substituted during half time, the replacement player is seen warming up and running on to the pitch. However if a substitution is made during play, the players are seen approaching each other. The score of the game has an effect on this, if a player has scored then he waves to the fans and claps before being substituted, however some players react badly to being substituted for example, if they are having a good or disappointing game, or if they are a key player in the squad. Captains have more of an effect in the team. Choosing a squad member who has good captain qualities for example from the players stats under leadership will help the balance of the team.
FIFA 09 includes a '10 vs. 10' Be a Pro online game and the offline Be a Pro Mode has been extended to run for 4 seasons. It also features user-controlled player celebrations, like in UEFA Euro 2008, in the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.