Touchscreen controls are tough to crack, says EA Sports

EA Sports: Why add on games controllers for mobiles might not solve problem
Touchscreen has inherent problems for gamers

Peripherals may well not be the answer to the problems with gaming on mobile devices, according to an executive at EA Sports.

Mike McCabe is the head of emerging markets and developing platforms on the Fifa franchise, and has been puzzling over the best ways to make games more playable on our phones and tablets for years.

Speaking to TechRadar after the stellar launch of Fifa 13, McCabe talked about the issues with touchscreen controls and the problems with peripherals.

Touchy problem

"I don't know whether peripherals will solve the problem [of gaming on tablets and phones] it's something we look at a lot, said McCabe.

"The touchscreen interface doesn't give you the variety of interface points that ten point controllers do with a combination of buttons and analogue sticks so we are always going to have a slightly different control interface.

"We constantly strive to come up with a way we can do things differently and we still work on it.

"We've been trying out peripheral [controllers] even in the java days - those bluetooth game controllers - I had one when we had java games.

"It was basically a [Nintendo] Gameboy type interface, but it's not something I would carry around with me and it's not sophisticated as the device.

"People expect more and I don't know what the answer is - we constantly look and every year we challenge the mobile group with improving the mobile interface."

Fifa 13 for mobile

McCabe explained to TechRadar that the iOS version of Fifa 13 included some major changes, and talked us through the reasons for the differences.

"A couple of things we did this year with Fifa 13 was using swipe as one of the means to be able to change the balance of play, added McCabe.

"We added the skill button because users had said the double tap away from the core was never used because it was too difficult."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.