EA Sports deny there's been scripting in FIFA 19 or previous versions of the game

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EA Sports
The publishers released a statement claiming that the 'Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment' patent has never been used in the series despite fans' claims

For years, FIFA players have claimed that the games have contained hidden features of 'scripting' and 'momentum' which change the outcome of matches.

That is the idea that your players begin to play differently i.e. fail with more passes or tackles to help your opponent and make matches more dramatic. It can sometimes feel like every game features a last-minute winner or your opponent suddenly plays perfectly to get back into the game.

The FIFA community exploded when 'Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment' was unearthed which stated that the technology would predict how much longer a player would want to play the game and, once it detected undesirable traits such as boredom or frustration, the difficulty of the game could be changed to re-engage that player.

While this patented technology has been known about for a while, EA Sports only recently released a statement to claim that it had not been used in FIFA 19 or any of its predecessors, saying: "We would never use it to advantage or disadvantage any group of players against another in any of our games.

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"The technology was designed to explore how we might help players that are having difficulty in a certain area of a game have an opportunity to advance."

Global community franchise lead Corey Andress further explained on Twitter: "For those that will ask why it took us a while to respond, we wanted to be 100% sure that this patent didn’t exist in the game. This includes all aspects - every mode and gameplay. Hopefully this ends speculation, and appreciate the patience while we got the answer.

"Also important to note that this was an EA patent and it wasn’t specific to FIFA. This might help other titles (I don’t know the use in other places), but it wouldn’t make sense for us."

However, many FIFA fans were still left unsatisfied.

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While the technology certainly could work across multiple EA Sports titles, parts of the patent are just as easily applicable to FIFA and sound extremely close to what many would call 'scripting'. 

The online description associated with the patent explains it in more detail: "Some other non-limiting examples of features of the video game that can be modified, which may or may not be detectable by the user can include providing extra speed to an in-game character, improving throwing accuracy of an in-game character, improving the distance or height that the in-game character can jump, adjusting the responsiveness of controls, and the like.

"In some cases, the adjustments may additionally or alternatively include reducing the ability of an in-game character rather than improving the ability of the in-game character. For example, the in-game character may be made faster, but have less shooting accuracy."

Considering competing in FIFA is crucial to the livelihood of esport professionals, some players were horrified of the very idea including Kurt Fenech, who is never afraid to share his views. 

"'The technology was designed to explore how we might help players that are having difficulty in a certain area of a game have an opportunity to advance'. Why would you even want to interfere? That idea is so so f*cked... let two players play and the better player wins. Simple."

And Andress responded to that criticism by saying: "Probably the reason why it isn't in the game."

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FIFA global community engagement specialist Gabriel Zaro also responded to those still sceptical: "Man, can't control what people think. What we can do - and did - is touch base with every single team (and even the patent author himself) to make sure that it's not present in FIFA, and share it with the community. We've been pushing for transparency since joining the team."

With FIFA 20 on the horizon, EA is pledging to be more transparent about the game with planned 'Pitch Notes' for every month before the game's release and this statement was part of that.

Whether gameplay will change much for FIFA 20 remains to be seen but you know many players will still be on the lookout for suggestions of 'scripting'.