There have been no football games in the last 15+ years other than FIFA and PES, which is partly true. There were no other football simulations worth mentioning, but there were other football-themed games. Little is known about the fact that one of them was launched by Ubisoft!
Ubisoft’s football game called Academy of Champions: Football, was launched in the fall of 2009 exclusively for the Nintendo Wii console. It was arcade football for the younger ages of gamers, and Ubisoft hired a legendary Brazilian footballer to promote the game. Not Ronaldinho, Kaku or Neymar - but retired Pele.
Has it ever occurred to anyone at Ubisoft that children don’t care about footballers who stopped playing football half a century ago? Probably it is, but only when no one bought the game. The team was so proud to hire Pele that they invited him to their 2009 E3 presentation. Pele liked it, so he later returned to E3, but with Electronic Arts.
The Academy of Champions: Football brought a 5v5 match format. As with real
arcade football, there were no fouls here nor could the ball go off the field.
The specificity of the game was that Altair, Persian Prince, Rayman, Sam
Fisher, and Rabbids appeared as footballers. The matches took place at the
magical Brightfield Academy, which was run by Pele and former American
football player Mia Hamm.
In addition to a story mode, the Academy of Champions: Football had several mini-games that could take advantage of various peripherals for the Nintendo Wii. On the balancing board, they dribbled and juggled the ball. Today it looks a bit ridiculous, but let’s not forget that such things were a hit 13+ years ago.
Admittedly, Ubisoft’s football did not achieve any significant result in the
market and it was the company’s last attempt to make something football-like.
The main criticism of the game was the poor supply of mods and the lack of any
online multiplayer. And although we look at this Ubisoft attempt at football
today with ridicule and wonder who remembers it at all, we would not be
surprised if it comes back like this. Games like Rocket League have shown that
there is room in the market for different concepts of sports/football
Who knows, maybe Ubisoft will return to football one day. We only hope that in that case, he will leave Pele to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.