FIFAM.info - Polska Scena FIFA Manager
Articles - Interviews
Written by Kily & Lukasvista - Wednesday, 21 April 2010 18:02  |  Skomentuj artykuÅ‚
FIFAM.info service would like to present today an interview given by Sören Stöß, International Community Manager. First of all we want to thank you that you found time to answer our questions. Before we start asking detailed questions we would like to find out something about you, so the first question is:

 

1. Could you say something about yourself? Our readers would like to get to know something more about you?

Sören: Well, you already know my name and what I do at Bright Future, but I will give you some further info. I am 27 years old, I love football and everything that deals with it (also playing FIFA/FIFA MANAGER). Besides work I also enjoy running (even though I gained some pounds over winter).

2. What persuade you to apply for International Community Manager position?

Sören: I stumbled over the application form when I was combing eafootballworld.com last June. This website is mainly for FIFA 10 players and offers stats and live-season games, game face and many more. So when I was looking through various articles on the website, I also saw this job description, which really caught my attention. I called Gerald a few days later, send him my application and after a very pleasant job interview I started working at BF in July. One of the main reasons for my interest in this job was/is the mixture of the following aspects: International – Football – Games – Community. I love my job and highly appreciate the contact with fans and fansites from all over the world, but it also it a lot of stress, especially in the phases shortly before the release of the game or updates.

3. Have you ever cooperated with BF studio before, or your adventure with Bright Future has just started since the end of July, 2009?

Sören: My “adventure” started last year in 2009. I have not worked in the game industry beforehand; I merely was a customer who always dreamt of being a part of this industry.

4. Please tell us how does your workday look like?

Sören:First of all, I am visiting our website, checking whether everything is up and running. Than I am going to our forum, reading threads and thinking about new topics or polls I could start. Then, I check our facebook pages which mostly receive a great feedback. We are trying to deliver info and news on all platforms, so as many fans as possible can access them as fast as possible. Besides this daily routine I am writing news, working articles for the website. Responding to mails from many fansites also occupies quite some time. There are also ongoing projects like the FIFA MANAGER workbench or the planning for the next year’s title.

5. Do you visit fansites and acquaint yourself with information published on them? Does it belong to your scope of duties?

Sören: I visit fansites from time to time. Of course, I cannot check all articles on all fansites every day, but it is very important for us to know what our fansites write and what they are working on. I also visited a French fansite owner last year, while I was in France visiting my girlfriend at that time. Some members of a Greek fansite also visited our studio here in Cologne in 2009. For me it always is nice to meet the people you are communicating with.

6. We know that your job is sometimes unpleasant, for example when you have to tone down the atmosphere on facebook (situation with Update 4). What’s your way of patching up the rising indignation?

Sören: This is also part of the job, but since I have been “on the other side” for the most part of my life I can and do understand the wishes, problems and requests from our users. If I am waiting for an update of a game I play in my free time and it is delayed, I am not happy either. The situation you are talking about was definitely not planned this way and we could also understand the frustration, but like Gerald already stated in his Blog, we apologize for the delay and we will do our best to avoid situations like those in the future. With Update 4 the situation was special and had nothing to do with the development of the game. We had some nice extra content and waited for a final legal ok, which didn’t happen in the end. It’s also important to know that after the last code chance, there are always (!) five days of testing. We cannot just make a change and release it, the risk would be far too high that something goes really wrong.

7. With what kind of problems and requests are administrators of other fansites addressing you?

Sören: Fansites contact me with various concerns, questions or wishes. We received many questions concerning the workbench, even though if we would appreciate even more input from the fansites, since this file has been created for the fans. Fansites also contact me with all different kind of game related questions. I am not able to directly answer some questions, because I am not a programmer, so it may take some days to send a mail containing all the wanted information.


8. Are you going to hold a convention for fansites this year? If yes could you give us any details?

Sören: We will again have a fansite meeting this year, but we have no official date yet. I was present at last year’s event and I really enjoyed it. It would be great if international fansites would also be here for this meeting, because it always is a great pleasure for us to meet our most dedicated fans.

9. You are responsible for translating news on blog and workbench document. Are you also involved in translating the game localization?


Sören: I have translated some text for the in-game website, but besides that I am not translating game content.

10. Have you already started to translate an update for workbench?

Sören: Like I already said earlier in this interview, the workbench is constantly updated and changed/improved. But we don’t want to release an updated version every two weeks. At the moment, we are including feedback from the forum and fansites, we are also changing some instructions.

11. When has your adventure with FIFA Manager game started? Does it still last?

Sören: I am playing FIFA for many years now. In the beginning I only played single games, but in the course of the years the managerial elements became better and awakened my attention. In 2008 I first played FIFA MANAGER. Since then I am playing FIFA MANAGER quite regular.

12. Could you tell us which elements from FIFA Manager 10 in your opinion have to more worked out?

Sören: I really like the current FIFA MANAGER. I enjoy the private life area of the game and the whole youth player development. For me personally, the game is fine the way it is. Surely, there are some aspects that could be changed or improved, but I am confident that BF will manage to further improve the game. And I really like the direction the game is taking.

13. Which features from FIFA Manager series has attracted your attention the most and decided that you chose this game?

Sören: Like I said before, the managerial part of football. :)

14. There is still a group of users who play TCM 2004 because in their opinion it’s the best edition in the whole TCM/FIFA Manager series. Which edition is the most successful in your opinion (excluding FIFA Manager 10)?

Sören: By most successful you mean the best version in my opinion? I would pick 2009 then. Honestly, in 99% I am happy with the newest version of EA Sport games. The same goes for FIFA. In my opinion both FIFA and FIFA MANAGER have constantly been improved for the last years and I am always thrilled to find out new features. And now I have a front row seat concerning info about FIFA MANAGER, which is great.

15. Are you also attending meetings when conceptions of next game edition are being discussed?


Sören: We have several meetings concerning the outlook and design of FIFA MANAGER, but I am not part of the meetings you are referring to. However, I receive crucial information about the game’s direction early. This is also vital for the design of our homepage and for the planning of our website’s content.

16. The next FIFA Manager game will be the tenth edition. Are you feeling bigger pressure in works on this jubilee edition?

Sören: Any anniversary is something special. In our case it is the tenth anniversary, which is quite an achievement I might say. Since I am part of this industry for less than a year I cannot tell you whether the pressure is much higher, but I will find it out pretty soon. However, I am confident that we will present a game that is worth being the anniversary version of the FIFA MANAGER franchise. We have some interesting new features and the focus is on the core features of the game, so much I can tell you...

17. Works on FIFA Manager 11 have already begun. Basing on information you know today, could you say that this edition will be the crucial one?

Sören: The question is similar to the previous one, but I will add that every version, every game we publish is crucial. If we would release a game that nobody would like because of whatever reasons, the future could get very tough. I would say that this anniversary edition is a highlight because it closes the first decade of the FIFA MANAGER history and at the same time represents the start into the next decade.

18. Do you have any favourite game you always play with pleasure?

Sören: I am not playing that much any longer, especially because my girlfriend isn’t quite the game fan ;-) But if I start my console, FIFA will most likely be in it. Besides that I am playing all sort of games, as long as they are good. Dante’s Inferno or Need for Speed Shift were the last games I played.

19. Adrian mentioned in our previous interview about FIFA competition between you and him. Do you compete also with someone else or there are only Database Chief vs. International Community Manager duels?

Sören: I sometimes play against some coworkers from EA, with varying success. The internal FIFA tournament that takes place from time to time is also great fun. I became third in the first tournament; the outcome of the second one wasn’t soooo good.

20. At the end of this interview we want to ask you about our website. How would you rate FIFAM.info service, do you think we have to work something out, improve something?

Sören: I am always pleasantly surprised about the quality of our fansites. FIFAM.info is no exception. I like the clear layout and the fact that you also launched an English version of your website. I hope that you and your team continue this work.

Bonus question: We know that there is a Polish programmer in BF. Do you know any Polish words? :)

Sören: The only Polish “phrase” was taught to me by a former friend, kocham Ci?. Is there anything more to know ;)


Interview conducted by Lukas Tomczyk and Kily.

 

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