Despite attaining massive success on a yearly basis, FIFA overlord David Rutter has said his EA dev team is still very much aware of the risk of becoming complacent, and that he continues to keep a keen eye on Konami's rival.
Speaking to CVG in a just-published FIFA 13 interview, Rutter attributed the team's constant vigilance to the fact that they are their own harshest critics.
"We are hugely critical of ourselves to the extent where we get in trouble for it when we're doing presentations," he admitted. "I know Andrew [Wilson] and before him Peter Moore would always say, 'don't be so hard on yourselves, you've got to tell some good news too.'
"So today I did the good news; 'fantastic reviews, amazing sales, everyone loves our game' and then Aaron steps up and goes, 'this is rubbish, this is rubbish...' It's just the way we are. We don't have a great deal of time in the year to make the game and we don't have a great deal of time in the year either to celebrate what we just did."
Rutter claimed being situated in Canada allows the team to stay a safe distance from the popularity and buzz that could encourage complacency.
"I think actually being in Canada is a bit of an advantage as well because we're away from all the, 'woohoo! Look how amazing we are!' We don't see the shops with tonnes of FIFA copies in them, or see the launch or hear about it on the news. We're far enough away that we're this little isolated pod of negative nerds all working on FIFA."
Although recent FIFA titles have performed well beyond PES rivals in terms of sales performance, Rutter admits the development team still considers the series to be a threat.
"There are other things out there," he said. "We're still worried about what Konami is going to do with Pro Evolution Soccer and naturally they're our closest sports competitor."