28 September 2016
EA Sports’ FIFA 17 soccer game is billed for worldwide launch on Thursday, September 29 though the game already launched on September 27 in North America.
The rest of the world can’t wait to be treated to the video game that has dominated gaming discussions over the past two months. Of course Pokemon Go rank up there too. Had to say that before people come after me.
EA Sports have been teasing fans of the game with screenshots of key ratings of popular players for a couple of weeks now. This indeed added to building excitement among teaming soccer game lovers.
For me, however, what every screenshot of player ratings does is to prompt me to ask how EA Sports arrived at these ratings; after all the guys at EA Sports are not directly involved in the sports – so how do they arrive at their ratings?
This immediate question prompted me to go in search of answers and on Tuesday, I came across the interview that absolutely answered my question.
In an interview with ESPN, Michael Mueller-Moehring, the man behind calculating the ratings of every player in EA Sport’s FIFA 17, explained in detail how he and his team of 9,000 individuals come up with the rating of FIFA 17’s 18,000 players.
Below are the three things he mentioned – you might be surprised at the first:
Mueller-Moehring told ESPN: “We guess a little bit… until our people have seen the player in action.” The people Mueller-Moehring is referring to here are his 9,000 team members who are comprised of professional scouts as well as season-ticket holders of clubs around the world. When team members have a feedback on players, they submit to EA Sports.
Going beyond data and stats to watching players in order to determine their individual abilities
Due to the fact that there are numerous leagues and players in the sports, Mueller-Moehring said that “no stats provider could offer us data for all these leagues, teams and players – it just doesn’t exist.”
He explained further the need to evaluate players’ individual abilities. He said: “It’s not just based on the stats though. A player who is in a team known for passing the ball a lot isn’t necessarily a better passer than someone else just because they have more successful passes.
“And when you look at attributes like trapping and ball control, there is data, but the data never give you the specific situations. Same for tackling.”
Players’ current league
According to the man who calls the shot when it comes to rating the players on FIFA, “there is a floor and a ceiling to a player’s rating depending on where he plays. Players in lower leagues will mostly be lower rated than those at the top. If Messi were playing in the Irish league, his attributes would drop simply because he’s not on the highest level anymore.”
Mueller-Moehring concluded that: “5.4 million pieces of small information are put into creating a player’s attributes. Overall rating is calculated by a formula that weighs attributes for each particular position.
“Some players may have intangibles which make them better, and their rating is artificially boosted to account for that.”
Now knowing EA’s method of coming up with player ratings, I hope I’d be able to predict the ratings of key players in FIFA 18.