Eurogamer

1
pob125
3797 posts National Call-Up
edited June 2017
 

EA says no, your FIFA matches aren't rigged

Wanna bet?

By Wesley Yin-Poole Published 20/06/2017

For years some FIFA players have suspected the game of cheating.

They believe that buried somewhere deep within FIFA's code is secret scripting that helps players out if they're losing or makes the game harder when they're winning. It's a belief fuelled by frustrating goalkeeper parries that lead to tap-ins, top quality strikers missing open goals and dramatic last-minute equalisers suffered after you've dominated a game. The FIFA community calls this alleged scripting "momentum" - and players want EA to own up.

While the "is it real or is it fake?" debate about momentum in FIFA has been on again and off again for years now, it sprang back into life five months ago when a Redditor claimed to have found mention of momentum in the FIFA 17 game files. This sparked a number of FIFA YouTubers to cry foul. There was even a failed petition.

A Redditor found mention of the word momentum in the FIFA 17 game files.

The same Redditor followed up by going into more detail on this code, which appears to reveal an adaptive difficulty that is dependent on things like how many shots you've taken, how much possession you enjoy and whether you've scored early. The suggestion is that FIFA gets harder the better you do, and easier the worse you do.

 

FIFA 17 game files also mention something called adaptive difficulty, which might explain how momentum works.

What the FIFA community doesn't know is whether this apparent momentum affects offline play only, online play only, or both. Players, particularly those who play online seasons mode or FUT Champions (the popular Weekend League), want to know if online matches are affected by this, because if they are, fair play would be called into question.

So, armed with this evidence, I put the issue of momentum to FIFA creative Matt prior.

"It's something we often get asked," Prior said. "Is there something in there that scripts things? I can assure you there absolutely isn't. It is just football. That kind of thing happens in football."

Prior said that FIFA does, however, contain the potential for player error. But rather than this being the result of some overarching momentum, it's based on an individual player's statistics and other factors, such as their fatigue.

"There is error in some of the algorithms for traps [trapping the ball]," Prior said. "That's in-built throughout the game, but that's all measured on an individual level. It doesn't take into account, oh, this is 1-0 in the 90th minute, let's give this guy more error. It's very much individual. And as a result it can happen at any time. That's part of the beauty of the sport. That can be frustrating at times, but that's the nature of football.

"I'm a Man City fan. Last City game I watched us have 80 per cent possession. Boro just nicked it, went down the other end, their first shot of the game, goal. To me, that's frustrating. If I was to have that in FIFA there might be the expectation that that's scripted. But the reality of it is, there are errors in football and that just makes football what it is. If everything was predictable and uniform and all the rest of it, you'd take some of the heart and soul out of football. We represent the real world sport and you get that in both our game and the real world sport."

 

What Prior is saying here is error is built into FIFA, but there's no applicable context, such as the time of the match or the score of the match.

"You don't want some fourth division defender trapping the ball as well as Messi, right?" Prior continued. "A lot of that is then also stat based. Some of it is fatigue based. If a guy is dead on his feet, he's going to make a mistake. There are lot of things that factor into that that make it happen. But, fundamentally, that's football."

So, FIFA isn't cheating?

"No, we're not cheating," Prior responded. "Absolutely not. It might feel like that when you're on the other end of it. There's always an excuse! It was skill when you won, cheating when you lost."

It remains to be seen whether the FIFA community will accept Prior's explanation for what's going on under the hood of the world's most popular sports video game. For those who obsess over FIFA Ultimate Team and pour hundreds of hours into online matches, any hint that the game does not operate on a level playing field will ruin the competition. But next time your superstar defender fails to control the ball in his own box, leading to a last-minute equaliser, maybe check his stats. You never know. He might be fatigued.



Post edited by pob125 on

Comments

  • Mini_Miudo
    10005 posts Has That Special Something
    Wtf :lol:
  • Retro_G
    33023 posts National Team Captain
    edited June 2017
    Intresting, would consider Eurogamer as one of the most respected, renowned gaming sites. They stopped doing score reviews a few years ago, but would always mention when they had been pamperd by publishers for a favourable score.
  • mHazard
    13787 posts Has That Special Something
    Great read, however you could clean the post before submitting. Such a mess.
  • Clancy
    8484 posts League Winner
    Just read this, I think it's kosher
  • RadioShaq
    19811 posts Moderator
    Some of the ads were confusing with the copy paste and who was asking and answering. What was the final consensus on the article?
  • Retro_G
    33023 posts National Team Captain
    mHazard wrote: »
    Great read, however you could clean the post before submitting. Such a mess.

    Here is the article.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-06-20-ea-says-no-your-fifa-matches-arent-rigged
  • pob125
    3797 posts National Call-Up
    Retro_G wrote: »
    Intresting, would consider Eurogamer as one of the most respected, renowned gaming sites. They stopped doing score reviews a few years ago, but would always mention when they had been pamperd by publishers for a favourable score.

    Yeah
    mHazard wrote: »
    Great read, however you could clean the post before submitting. Such a mess.

    Sorry.just quickly copied it.on break at work so didn't get time to edit it properly.
  • Thedudeabides
    2434 posts Fans' Favourite
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    Some of the ads were confusing with the copy paste and who was asking and answering. What was the final consensus on the article?

    The final consensus is that players will make mistakes in game causing them to miss chances and concede goals, but it's down to the stats on the players and also if they are fatigued. It has nothing to do with scripting or momentum is what the EA rep said.
  • wade_7_
    4581 posts National Call-Up
    mHazard wrote: »
    Great read, however you could clean the post before submitting. Such a mess.

    Really? Yeah you have to proof read abit before getting back onto the story, but even a dyslexic illiterate fool like myself read it pretty easily.
    Interesting read, but having been on both ends of a win or loss in these types of ways, I'm still not convinced it's as clear cut as EA want to make out
  • Clancy
    8484 posts League Winner
    Heres the link if people want to read it in original form. Sounds legit, this is what it's always felt like to me.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.eurogamer.net/amp/2017-06-20-ea-says-no-your-fifa-matches-arent-rigged
  • hayhor1
    15078 posts World Class
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    Some of the ads were confusing with the copy paste and who was asking and answering. What was the final consensus on the article?

    The final consensus is that players will make mistakes in game causing them to miss chances and concede goals, but it's down to the stats on the players and also if they are fatigued. It has nothing to do with scripting or momentum is what the EA rep said.

    Of course that's what the EA rep will say.
  • RadioShaq
    19811 posts Moderator
    People always want ea to explain stuff but when they do nobody believes it. Suppose its a waste of time for them to have discussions with us.
  • Thedudeabides
    2434 posts Fans' Favourite
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    People always want ea to explain stuff but when they do nobody believes it. Suppose its a waste of time for them to have discussions with us.

    This is true. But EA should also take some of the blame for it getting to this point, they are/have been very poor at communicating with the community for years. If they had been open to discussions or feedback from early on, they could of built up a semi decent relationship with their user base. But I agree, it doesn't matter what EA say now as people will just not believe it.
  • RadioShaq
    19811 posts Moderator
    I dunno if you have been here from 11 but the devs beat the dead horse over and over again until they got tired of arguing with the community over it. So they did what you suggested.
  • Thedudeabides
    2434 posts Fans' Favourite
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    I dunno if you have been here from 11 but the devs beat the dead horse over and over again until they got tired of arguing with the community over it. So they did what you suggested.

    They got tired of arguing and gave up though. If they had stuck to their guns and continued to be around to communicate, not just about the S & M stuff, but other stufff involved in FIFA,they still would have a much better relationship by now. Now it's just a lot of silence, which just increased speculation and rumour. I'm not on anybody's side on the issue, both sides have part of the blame imo. The FIFA community(forgive my generalisation of it) can be pretty toxic, so I can understand why they decided to stop interacting. I just feel it's a shame as it could be so much better.
  • RadioShaq
    19811 posts Moderator
    Yeah basically a no win situation with the community.
  • snoikdonk
    1504 posts Play-Off Hero
    Phew, I'm glad we've got that out of the way! Now, can someone please tell me how chem works and what stats actually mean and how they compare to each other? Oh... there are no devs here so we'll never know :confounded:
  • Zuka_Zama
    1488 posts Professional
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    Some of the ads were confusing with the copy paste and who was asking and answering. What was the final consensus on the article?

    The final consensus is that players will make mistakes in game causing them to miss chances and concede goals, but it's down to the stats on the players and also if they are fatigued. It has nothing to do with scripting or momentum is what the EA rep said.

    What a load of crock.

    What makes somebody's 75 rated GK player like Neuer or De Gea at times? What accounts for the ref only calling fouls/cards on one side, while the opponent can slide tackle from behind with nothing called? Is that all down to fatigue too? :p

    Down to a player's stats? Since when do stats mean anything? Boateng loses 50-50 headers being outjumped by Bernard. Tonelli out-muscles Lukaku. Aubameyang is the best defender in the game. And, after last night's game, Rakitic can apparently out-run Vardy in a straight race for the ball over a 30-yard distance.

    So, yeah, Matt Prior, let me know when you decide to makes stats actually matter first, and then maybe i'll believe you that it's just errors based on a player's stats.
  • General-Richa
    1102 posts Professional
    Zuka_Zama wrote: »
    What a load of crock.

    What makes somebody's 75 rated GK player like Neuer or De Gea at times? What accounts for the ref only calling fouls/cards on one side, while the opponent can slide tackle from behind with nothing called? Is that all down to fatigue too? :p

    Down to a player's stats? Since when do stats mean anything? Boateng loses 50-50 headers being outjumped by Bernard. Tonelli out-muscles Lukaku. Aubameyang is the best defender in the game. And, after last night's game, Rakitic can apparently out-run Vardy in a straight race for the ball over a 30-yard distance.

    So, yeah, Matt Prior, let me know when you decide to makes stats actually matter first, and then maybe i'll believe you that it's just errors based on a player's stats.

    I have to agree...

    It's PR flannel... if the issues with the game were based on stats or fatigue then why do stats and fatigue rarely seem to actually matter.

    What a muppet this Prior chap appears to be... who exactly are these people who say they win with skill and lose due to cheating?... in my experience I win when the game allows me to win and lose when the game doesn't allow me to win... the game has been dumbed down to a point where there is very little in this game that is left to skill, in fact the two most important things are the AI performance and the responsiveness of the controlled player... it is rare that there's a match where both participants have those 2 things at a level where 'skill' can decide the outcome.

    As for saying there's nothing in the game that scripts things... it's a blatant lie... there is adaptive difficulty coded into the game that affects AI player performance... that's not stat or fatigue based... it's performance and result based... screenshots of that code (and screenshots showing players have hidden morale) appeared on this forum last year, the thread was promptly closed, as no doubt this one will be too.
  • pob125
    3797 posts National Call-Up
    Hopefully this won't be closed as it's an EA representative.and it basically says it doesn't exist.

    So I see no reason for it to be closed.
    Just found their explanation quite interesting.
  • Zuka_Zama
    1488 posts Professional
    Zuka_Zama wrote: »
    What a load of crock.

    What makes somebody's 75 rated GK player like Neuer or De Gea at times? What accounts for the ref only calling fouls/cards on one side, while the opponent can slide tackle from behind with nothing called? Is that all down to fatigue too? :p

    Down to a player's stats? Since when do stats mean anything? Boateng loses 50-50 headers being outjumped by Bernard. Tonelli out-muscles Lukaku. Aubameyang is the best defender in the game. And, after last night's game, Rakitic can apparently out-run Vardy in a straight race for the ball over a 30-yard distance.

    So, yeah, Matt Prior, let me know when you decide to makes stats actually matter first, and then maybe i'll believe you that it's just errors based on a player's stats.

    I have to agree...

    It's PR flannel... if the issues with the game were based on stats or fatigue then why do stats and fatigue rarely seem to actually matter.

    What a muppet this Prior chap appears to be... who exactly are these people who say they win with skill and lose due to cheating?... in my experience I win when the game allows me to win and lose when the game doesn't allow me to win... the game has been dumbed down to a point where there is very little in this game that is left to skill, in fact the two most important things are the AI performance and the responsiveness of the controlled player... it is rare that there's a match where both participants have those 2 things at a level where 'skill' can decide the outcome.

    As for saying there's nothing in the game that scripts things... it's a blatant lie... there is adaptive difficulty coded into the game that affects AI player performance... that's not stat or fatigue based... it's performance and result based... screenshots of that code (and screenshots showing players have hidden morale) appeared on this forum last year, the thread was promptly closed, as no doubt this one will be too.

    Spot on.

    I notice that the biggest factor between winning and losing seems to be the AI defense. When i'm up against it, their AI defense is positioned to near perfection. Every attacker is perfectly marked at all times. Every defender seems to have their tackle radius increased. Typically, their defenders running speed also seems to be boosted. It's easy to barge my players off the ball, making shielding near impossible. Shots get blocked more frequently. Passes get intercepted more easily. I find i have to play a near perfect game just to stay remotely competitive when those games show up.

    The AI level also seems to be tied directly into Seasons divisions. I can completely dominate the AI in a particular season, advancing to the next. But then the AI level will dramatically increases during the next season, causing relegation. As soon as i go back down, it becomes easy again. No way something like that is down to level of opponents. It's all about the AI level.

    Boosting the AI's defense is the easiest way to sway the gameplay in someone's favor without raising too many red flags.
  • wade_7_
    4581 posts National Call-Up
    Well if there was a leaderboard for luckiest fifa players, iv just played the top 5!
    OK I guess this is abit of a rage or a whinge, so feel free to duck out now.
    I'd class myself as a div4/3 player, but after making my 'final team' I found myself winning div3, sound.
    Start div2 with a 3-0-0 record. 3 good games,
    tough games. 4-1, 2-1 and 2-0 equal games, I just took my chances better I guess.
    I now stand at 3-0-5. All 5 games lost by 1 goal, and every single conceded goal had some element of luck.
    I wouldn't say my players played particularly badly or unresponsive due to lag, it was more my opponent got every lucky bounce or every decision.
    The usual ricochet tables where the ball ALWAYS falls to the opponent, every single through ball missing koulibalys 6ft long legs and my dybala feeling like he's borrowed antonio valencia's left foot!
    I'd love to post every video of my 5 defeats but I know yous have all got better things to do.

    But don't worry boys and girls, Matt Prior says scripting isn't a thing!
  • JohnDoe
    12175 posts Has That Special Something
    edited June 2017
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    People always want ea to explain stuff but when they do nobody believes it. Suppose its a waste of time for them to have discussions with us.

    Government officials have lied plenty of times about ❤️❤️❤️❤️ that actually mattered. Why couldn't an EA dev lie? You can't just believe everything you hear or read.

    Not saying Matt Prior is lying, but you can't just take everything at face value. Gullibility is a byproduct of ignorance, which usually leads to the gullible to being oppressed by the ones doing the lying.
  • RedKraut
    682 posts An Exciting Prospect
    "That kind of thing happens in football."

    "That can be frustrating at times, but that's the nature of football."

    "We represent the real world sport and you get that in both our game and the real world sport."

    "There are lot of things that factor into that that make it happen. But, fundamentally, that's football."


    Ha. So theres the MO. I bet everytime someone opens a door at EA HQ a chime goes off with "Its in the game".

    Bottom line, its in EAs best interest to cloud this topic on us. If they flat out said 'yea, theres some games you just arent going to win', what would the comminity do? Think about it.

  • pob125
    3797 posts National Call-Up
    Tbh guys,I'm glad people are reading this and discussing the article with maturity.....am I still in the fifa forums? :D

    Bull crap or not....but least he admitted to errors being programmed into the game.personally I think it's a fact that we play 90 min in 15-20min.

    Just seems worse than it is.

    Is it a sign of EA trying to be more transparent....who knows.

    Maybe we get a interview about pack weights at some point.
  • aberry1000
    2377 posts Fans' Favourite
    I have played some disgustingly bad players and the games makes me lose

    I've also played some WL games with bronze squad and beaten a messi & Ronald team because all their shots were missing...

    You get a massive boost when using a much weaker team unless I am so good I can beat TOTS with bronze and low chem...

  • wade_7_
    4581 posts National Call-Up
    I'd really love some to get to the bottom of all the mechanics of the game.
    I do believe there is something linked to your personal skill of the game. Fair enough it's difficult to compare a certain player, 50% think say mertens is the best in game, whereas 50% could say he's garbage.
    These comparisons are difficult as individuals are different in their skill of the game, or like to use a certain kind of player, in a certain way.
    But take discussions on a goalkeeper, the one player you have minimal control over, how can there be such a huge split over whether 1 goalie is either best in game for some people, yet totally rubbish for others? What makes that happen?
  • RadioShaq
    19811 posts Moderator
    JohnDoe wrote: »
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    People always want ea to explain stuff but when they do nobody believes it. Suppose its a waste of time for them to have discussions with us.

    Government officials have lied plenty of times about **** that actually mattered. Why couldn't an EA dev lie? You can't just believe everything you hear or read.

    Not saying Matt Prior is lying, but you can't just take everything at face value. Gullibility is a byproduct of ignorance, which usually leads to the gullible to being oppressed by the ones doing the lying.


    Sounds about the same to me. If you don't believe anything the government has to say. Why would you want to have a discussion with them?
  • Damo_Suzuki
    4012 posts National Call-Up
    I think delay or one person having an advantage with connection is what causes the perception of scripting etc. I wish he had asked him about that and why it is prevelant in each new fifa as it is equally unfair.
  • snoikdonk
    1504 posts Play-Off Hero
    I think delay or one person having an advantage with connection is what causes the perception of scripting etc. I wish he had asked him about that and why it is prevelant in each new fifa as it is equally unfair.

    I'm sure that's part of it but it doesn't explain how I can go 3-0 up in the first 30 mins of a game against someone who is quite a bit better than me. My keeper saves everything and his defense/keeper makes some awful blunders to give me the goals. If it was down to connection why is he playing better than me and deserving to be ahead? I can accept that I may get a lucky goal but 3 is a bit silly.

    What I do think is that EA need to rewrite the code from the beginning. It seems they find a "fault" and rather than fix, they patch it up a bit. This has happened year after year leading to a broken game being held together with plasters. It's bound to be a bit dodgy.
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