EA Taps Weather Channel for Ultimate Realism

August 21, 2009 Written by Draisey

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With game developers constantly pushing the boundaries of graphics technology, gamers tend to expect great lighting, detailed textures, and realistic character animation. But EA Sports has gone one step further, integrating graphical features with events that occur in the real world to make games like NCAA Football 10 and Madden NFL 10 not only graphically accurate, but physically relevant.

Due to their new partnership with The Weather Channel, games like Madden NFL 10 are synced to current weather conditions within the United States. The Weather Channel’s lead meteorologist, Tom Moore, was pleased to state the following:

“Tropical systems typically bring with them strong winds and heavy rain, so hurricanes on a path closer to a stadium would certainly affect gameplay, creating a wet field, wind gusts and more.”

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This means that players who strive for extreme realism in their games are going to have a blast playing through the latest NFL installment. Though it’s easy to imagine some players will be annoyed if they feel the need to watch weather forecasts from a different state, just to stay on top of things. Derek Van Nostran, the director of marketing at The Weather Channel Interactive, explained how the system works.

“Our teams at The Weather Channel provide a data feed that allows EA to pull real-time weather for any location chosen as a venue within the game. We also provided historical data for the past three years so that the EA producers would be able to match realistic weather conditions at every venue for games played at any time of year.”

Weather conditions have a visual affect on the game, as well as a physical effect. Players’ uniforms will get dirtier if the stadium a player is using happens to be experiencing a rain storm, or if that particular stadium is experiencing extreme heat, their team will start to suffer from fatigue as the game continues.

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But of course, this weather syncing depends on weather or not you have a broadband connection to your game console. Does this feature interest you, or do you see it as a possible annoyance? Let us know in the comment section below!

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