Latinos In The US: ‘FIFA 14’ Games Mode Producer Santiago Jaramillo Talks Growing Up In Colombia, Soccer Passion And The Making Of EA Video Game

Santiago Jaramillo FIFA
Santiago Jaramillo spent some time with Latin Times discussing the development and gameplay of FIFA 14. EA Sports/FIFA 14

EA Sports brings video game enthusiasts some of the top sports products each and every year. Whether you're a fan of American football, hockey, college football, soccer or even mixed martial arts, the gaming superpower offers something for each and every one of their fans. EA's most prized creation however focuses around the most popular sport in the world. Thanks to the success and increasing stardom of many international figures, the sport of soccer continues to draw fans from around the globe and it is because of this sport that EA Sports is able to deliver brand new editions of their 'FIFA' video game on a yearly basis.

Recently releasing 'FIFA 14,' creative teams at EA Sports and FIFA have delivered a product that certainly won't struggle to sell at a high level around the world since fans of the franchise anticipate the latest version of the game each and every year. One of the main reasons the 'FIFA' series remains so successful is the hard work of those behind the scenes. It takes a lot to create one of the highest selling and most beloved games on the market and because of the tireless efforts of many, 'FIFA 14' continues to follow through along this successful path.

Latin Times was fortunate enough to spend some time with one individual highly involved in the creation of the game, 'FIFA 14' Games Mode Producer Santiago Jaramillo. As someone who has been with Electronic Arts since 2007, Santiago was the perfect person to give insight into the development of the popular game while also sharing some personal information about what it was like growing up in Bogota, Colombia and how is passion for soccer and the FIFA franchise became one.

Born in Colombia, Santiago Jaramillo moved away from his native country upon graduating high school. Always having a passion to study abroad, the 'FIFA' producer began the next chapter of his life in Canada, a place he immediately fell in love with.

"I always knew I wanted to study abroad," he said. "I sent plenty of applications to various universities around the world. I went to the University of Vancouver and graduated there and it was shortly after I graduated that I knew I wanted to be involved in the making of 'FIFA' because I knew 'FIFA' was made in Vancouver. Growing up in Colombia was great since I was always playing soccer and had and still have a true love for the game but I knew I wanted to study abroad."

"It happened in a very unorthodox way," he said regarding how he got involved with EA Sports and FIFA. "So I went on the website with the hopes that EA would contact me. Knowing FIFA was made in Vancouver, I reached out to any names that stood out to me with regard to the video game. Finally getting in touch with producer David Rutter, I was eventually hired since they were interested in what I had to offer and my first project became 'FIFA 09.'

In speaking about what goes into making a video game, Santiago remembered when he was younger and had a passion for various games. As entertaining as many games were, he had no idea what the creative process entailed.

"Looking back, no one ever knew what actually went into the making of video games," he said. "It was almost like NASA where you just take it for what it is and there was no way of knowing how much work actually went into the creation and production behind every game, it was just a complete mystery. Making a game like FIFA seemed completely out of the question at first."

As far as 'FIFA 14' is concerned, Santiago remains very excited with the latest product and as Lead Producer of the Games Modes team in this year's version of the game, he is pleased with the way the game portrays real life action of each player, their kits and home stadiums.

"The AI of the attackers and the way they explode into space is very realistic," Jaramillo said. "Thanks to the Ignite Engine, players move with fluidity and they no longer move station to station but rather with a real-life motion. Players running after a ball will overshoot the ball because of their forward momentum and that is something you experience in the game. There are no more bad angle kicks and you won't see players - in most cases - scoring goals from beyond midfield because the accuracy and intelligence in the game doesn't allow it, just like you wouldn't see those things in real life soccer matches."

"As good as 'FIFA 14' is, the exciting thing will be to continue to follow where the game goes heading into next year," he continued. "The products remain great but as technology continues to grow and we create new ideas, 'FIFA' will only get better as time goes on."

'FIFA 14' was officially released in September and as the game continues to sell around the globe, fans of the franchise and of professional soccer will truly have the opportunity to bring real-life figures and action into their homes.

Special thanks go out to Santiago Jaramillo for taking the time to speak with us about his career path and the 'FIFA' franchise as well as Brian Barbosa of Edelman and Raul Gonzalez of EA Sports for helping us set up the sit down with the 'FIFA' producer.



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Sports reporter covering the hot topics of the day in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, Premier League, Spanish Primera League, Liga MX and others. I've also covered 2014 World Cup Qualifying and hosted interviews with high-profile athletes including Victor Cruz and Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants. In my spare time I work as a play-by-play announcer for MSG Networks and the Division I Northeast Conference. Graduate of Monmouth University with a B.A. in Applied Communication.