The licensed game of the 1998 Football World Cup held in France from June 10 to July 12 and the first World Cup licensed game distributed and developed by Electronic Arts features a tweaked FIFA 98
engine, with all 10 stadiums accurately designed and all 32 teams (plus 8 teams that failed to qualify but still deemed too important to leave out) featuring real names and close "look-a-like" kits. Changes done to the 3D engine feature include on the fly in-game management with better player positioning AI (including the goalkeeper), and faster gameplay. An editor to change all player information is included, which affects simulated data: the team with higher ratings has a better chance of progressing through the next stage regardless if it is Brazil or China.
It's possible to play with the groups as determined by the real draw, randomize or customize them to the players' likings, mixing both qualified and additional teams. Once the player wins a trophy, the first of the Classics
matches is unlocked. These are eight final matches in the competition's history which are unlocked as the player beats them one by one. Friendlies, training matches and practice penalty shootouts close the modes available.
- "Frankreich 98 - Die Fußball-WM" -- German title
- "Coupe du Monde 98" -- French title
- "Copa del Mundo: Francia 98" -- Spanish title
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The Cup Classics from 1966 and before are presented in black & white, and feature the old style ball (made of leather, stops like a dead weight, etc.) which behaves differently from the modern one. The two Cup Classics from the 30's (1930 and 1938) have an old film quality. The dress and hairstyles of the different eras are accurately portrayed (sideburns in the 60's, short hair in the 50's, very short shorts in the 70's, long shorts in the 50's, etc.). However, there are some inaccuracies:
- The football design, adidas Tricolor, used in reality only during the 1998 World Cup, is used in all classic matches from 1970 onwards (that is all classic mode matches shown in colour).
- The Golden Goal rule, used in real life for the first and only time in the 1998 World Cup is used for all World Cup Classics matches in the game.
- The penalty shootout introduced in 1970 can be used to decide any of the World Cup Classics matches in the game.
- The Yellow and Red cards, used in real life first during the 1970 World Cup, are used for all games in this mode.
- The cards are shown in colour during black and white/sepia matches.
- Captions are shown in faded colour during black and white/sepia matches.
During penalty shootouts, if the player scores one of the possible commentary strings is "That's how we score'm, John", said by Chris Waddle
. The same Chris Waddle that blasted his shootout spot kick high into the stands in the WC'90 semi-finals against Germany, which ended up in a tearful defeat for the British side. Germany went to win the tournament 1-0 against Argentina, and Italy beat England 2-1 for the third spot.
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