Handicapping: David Rutter’s interview with SPOnG

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This interview with David Rutter, (executive producer on FIFA) has been brought up as alleged evidence in support of the theory that handicapping is present within the game.  Apparently, some scripting believers think that David Rutter first went out and confirmed openly that scripting exists, and then he later changed his mind. Did David Rutter change his mind or are people making things up?

Below are some of the quotes which have lead to that perception:

“We are the definitive simulation of the sport they love, and we’ve done it in a way that I think allows people who aren’t into football to enjoy it too.”

“And so, looking at this year’s game, and how we wanted it to be unpredictable and dramatic…”

“Moving away from the football thing and looking at non-football fans, what they see is this amazing simulation of humans running around kicking a ball of leather, that when they perform an action is executed in a way that makes complete sense.”

“My kids love it, and they’re like… eight and five years old.”

As far as I understand it, these quotes are brought up as evidence, because some people interpret ‘not into football’ as synonymous with not very good at FIFA, while ‘making the game unpredictable and dramatic’ is interpreted as synonymous to making the better player or team lose. Hence, the first quote above becomes a confirmation of EA wanting the game to be enjoyable even for people who aren’t very good at it by making the better player or team lose.

What David Rutter actually did say

Are the detached quotes above evidence of the existence of a handicap in FIFA? Certainly not.

All the quotes above are part of a certain response, and when you read that complete response in it’s own context, it should be very obvious that David Rutter isn’t talking about handicapping. First of all, he is responding to a question regarding people who aren’t into football, not people who are bad at FIFA. The entire point of the question is that you may like FIFA without loving football. Second, he isn’t confirming that the game is scripted. In fact, he is rejecting it:

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David Rutter doesn’t like random scripted crap

On top of that, David Rutter did speak about the manipulation topic in another interview. Although he was talking about momentum, not handicapping, he stated something which is relevant to handicapping as well:

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David Rutter stated the momentum doesn’t exist in the game

In conclusion, David Rutter definitely didn’t confirm the existence of any kind of manipulation within FIFA.