Momentum: The GDC paper


An EA Sports developer, Sebastian Enrique, wrote a paper for the Games Developers Conference in 2007, titled ‘Understanding Emotions in FIFA 07’. This paper is often referred to as evidence because it contains the section above, which includes the term ‘momentum’ and also talks about ‘enhancing the player’s emotions’. Did Enrique confirm the presence of scripting or momentum or whatever?


According to the paper, EA is (or was) trying to enhance our emotions. Could this be equivalent with either scripting, momentum or handicapping?

It probably could, but to conclude that it is, would be a clear cut case of jumping to conclusions. The text above does not say that FIFA emotions is the same as manipulating the game. In fact, a thorough reading of the document will reveal the exact opposite. The following statement about what FIFA emotion is and more notably – isn’t – can be found on page 5-6:


Hence, it should be clear that FIFA emotions doesn’t involve results being decided by the CPU rather than controlled by user actions on the pitch.

What is FIFA emotions then? Basically, it’s a concept which tracks certain events in the game and controls when to show cut scenes, adjust crowd behavior and the like based on the context.

This is however only visible if you actually read the paper rather than just search through it and cut out the sections that fits with your beliefs.