Fact check: Is “dramatic moments” equal to momentum in FIFA 18?


A recent interview with FIFA’s game producer Sam Rivera on the gaming site Kotaku has yet again sparked the community’s conspiracy division. Should this interview lead us to believe that momentum exists in FIFA 18 or is it just the usual brain-spin-while-jumping-to-conclusions hitting the community? We decided to read the interview ourselves.

What’s all the fuzz about this time? Sam Rivera happens to use the word “moment”, which coincidentally sounds a bit like momentum:

“This is a very good example I’ll give you — one of the new features we have is called Dramatic Moments…”
(Sam Rivera on Kotaku.co.uk)

Is Dramatic Momentum momentum? Considering that people have been complaining about momentum for years, a feature which isn’t even introduced yet probably isn’t the root cause behind these complaints. After all, time tends to move forward, not backwards.

What is Dramatic Moments?

Rivera explains Dramatic Moments as a feature which should create more realism i relation to scoring wonder goals. Like in real life, the context should influence your ability to pull off something outerworldly. To get an even better understanding of the new feature, we tracked down another recent pre release interview with EA’s Matt Prior, which may shed some more clarity about these mysterious Dramatic Moments:

“Last year, certain features were harder to do for the more casual users. We felt the big moments are what make football great, but they were limited to certain users who were super-advanced. So we just added more of an opportunity to do the kind of wondergoals you see on there.

Skill moves is another one where some people aren’t aware of how to do them. It’s only like the top-level few that do them, so it’s about bringing the cool stuff more to the masses. Giving people the opportunity to do more wondergoals and the like.”
(Matt Prior on Balls.ie)

So, what this basically boils down to is adding more context sensitive wonder goals to the game play.

Is Dramatic Moments momentum?

Here comes the million dollar question: Does adding more context sensitive wonder goals sound like changing the tide of the match in order to keep it tight (aka momentum)? Call me unimaginative but these concepts seem as far apart as horse shoes and cheesecake to me.

Besides, it’s worth noting that the information about Dramatic Moments comes from EA. There is this fould smell of cherry-pickerism about insisting to read proof of conspiracy into the words of a source, while at the same time denying that same source any credibility when it denies that very same conspiracy. And to put it in the words of the aforementioned Matt Prior in the aforementioned Balls.ie interview:

“We don’t implement [Magic Moments] artificially. This is a question we get all the time about scripting, momentum, rubber-banding and all that kind of stuff. I can assure you there is none of that in there. It’s about allowing the users the tools to achieve those [moments] if those opportunities arise. We won’t script anything like that. I would just use the analogy of real-world football; you get those moments in real world football. I’m a Man City fan and I saw plenty of games this year where we had 80% possession, and then the other team would just break down and score a goal. I’ve had people say to me, ‘that happened to me in FIFA, it’s scripted’. But that’s the beauty of sport. Our game is a representation of the real sport, so you will get moments where it just feels unfair.”
(Matt Prior on Balls.ie)

So, no proof this time either.

  • James Bell

    still sticking up for EA and their shady practice of using scripting to help the weaker players. you are pathetic

    • Crlarsen

      Feel free to prove me wrong.

      • GT PS4

        You are the most popular EA shill on reddit for starters.

        • Crlarsen

          And then what?

  • Michael McCray

    This guy is full of BS. They are so many things that point to the game being manipulated in Ultimate Team and Career Mode. The influx of 45th’/90th minute goals, the inability to chain passes at the most random times, players with 90 finishing shooting 12 yarders wide and high, the handballs in the box that are not called, the misdirected passes, tackling a guy but the ball going straight to another attacking player. Videos has proved it, a person actually found the code that is used to rubber-band the players. I gave FIFA 18 a try and its no different. The gameplay is noticeably worse this year. (I regularly win Ligue 1 and the Champions League)

    Congrats FIFA, you’re on the verge of converting a FIFA player to a PES player.

    • Crlarsen

      What exact things indicate that?

    • Crlarsen

      Exactly what evidence can you point to that isn’t rejected already? As an example, take 45/90th minute goals. We already know why they happen and that it isn’t scripting. Feel free to check out the article on that exact topic elsewhere on the site.

      • Michael McCray

        I don’t know….maybe actually playing the game and seeing every law of physics being ignored? Do you actually play, or is this your pathetic attempt to publicly defend this guy?

        Less than 24 hours ago, I just played a game in which my right full-back with a 87 rating was sprinting down the flanks with the ball then he suddenly stops……..As in I try to keep sprinting and dribbling and was unable to do so, of course. He gets dispossessed and CPU makes it 2-0.
        In layman’s terms, I could not control the player in possession, until he was dispossessed.

        There was another occasion where a player tries a chip from 25 yards, as the goal was approaching the net, my keeper who could have made a fair catch if it was the NFL, instead dives away from the ball and it goes in the net.

        Rivera doesn’t listen to customers and its painfully obvious he doesn’t care. Your attempt at journalistic integrity is feeble, but you at least tried.

        • Crlarsen

          I played FIFA since 1999 and I still do play it quite a lot. The fact that it’s annoying, however, just doesn’t lead me to conclude that I lose because EA are plotting against me.

          The same goes for the fact that the game sometimes seems to defy the laws of physics. All 3D games have graphics errors of various kinds. In the case of FIFA, we see a lot of clipping errors and deflection errors. These things happen because the 3D engine simplifies the objects in order to achieve decent performance. Such errors are however not more frequent in FIFA and they don’t just happen in decisive situations.

          With regards to the experiences you had with that player, it sounds more like a hardware issue. I have never experienced anything like that unless there was a problem with my controller.

          With regards to Rivera, then there is a difference between listening to your customers and accepting their claims as truth.

          • Michael McCray

            We can agree to disagree, I’m not about force-feeding my thoughts even though you can argue I came about it strongly and somewhat self-righteously. I still stand by my stance and the fact that EA knows that people are willing to spend hundreds of $$$ for coins and the handicapping exists, I will argue that EA is unethical for implementing programming. What I’m saying is that FIFA 18 can be summed up in one word……recycled. The developers prioritize CR7 ‘Si’ celebrations over the gameplay issues that exists for four years.

          • Crlarsen

            Well, there is no doubt that FIFA 18 like all it’s predecessors is based on recycling. And then what? I’m not quite sure why we should consider that primarily negative. Recycling has it’s pros and cons, and I quite frankly don’t think we should expect a decent football to come out every year if it was to be build from scratch. On top of that, don’t forget that when you buy the latest edition, you also buy a lot of content, i.e. league licenses, player names etc. This is without a question the main reason why FIFA has taken the lead over PES.

            As for handicapping, I’m more than willing to change my mind if you can bring up any evidence suggesting that you are right. But I just don’t see any such evidence.

            I see facts – mainly anecdotes – which are consistent with that view, although they could be explained by natural causes as well.

            And then I also see facts in the shape of systematic evidence (statistics) which are in direct contradiction with that idea. I don’t know exactly what version of evidence you believe in but here on the site, we have articles addressing both the idea that better players are handicapped as well as the idea that better squads are handicapped.

            The conclusion is the same in both cases: Neither of those idea are likely to exist, even though there is anecdotal evidence which could be consistent with the idea that they do.

            We also did a lot of testing directly aimed at a third concept, namely momentum, which supposedly is a feature whereby matches are made level through interventions based on the progression. While such a feature does exist in certain offline matches, we have very strong evidence refuting the idea.

            But as I have said multiple times: feel free to prove me wrong.

          • Michael McCray

            I somewhat had a change of heart…you can only be defending EA because you’re publicly auditioning for them; you’re too smart to be this gullible. Sorry (but not sorry), I cannot take you seriously as a credible writer.

            I will leave this video here. Stuff like this just doesn’t happen without some doctoring.


          • Crlarsen

            There is a difference between arguing that scripting, handicapping and momentum doesn’t exist – and defending EA.

            If you took your time to read some of our latest articles, you would come across an article where we discuss gambling-related aspects of FUT. I’m not sure EA appreciates that we have spend time analyzing player performances, thereby showing that it make little sense to own expensive players.

            There are many things you can criticize EA for. Scripting just isn’t one of them.

            As for the video, then surely, that sort of thing happens. We have other, similar examples in this article which I encourage you to read:


            So, the question isn’t whether those things happen but rather whether they happen because EA wants to influence the result of the match or because the game has a bug allowing this to happen.

            And the main point I want to make in regards to a video like this particular example is that it would be a logic fallacy to conclude that either explanation is true based on the mere fact that this sort of thing happens.

            Having said that, I would put my money on the latter explanation for a couple of reasons:

            – I don’t see a meaningful motive. All the possible motives are relatively easy to dismantle. A crime without a motive?
            – There are many similar bugs in the game which aren’t noticed because they don’t impact the result. Logic dictates that if bugs are somewhat frequent, then bugs occasionally will happen in a decisive moment.
            – There are simpler ways to impact the result. Why not instead implement something as trivial as refereeing misjudgements, i.e. wrong off side calls like in real football?

  • Crlarsen

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
    What evidence suggest that I’m wrong?
    As for dynamic difficulty, then surely, It’s part of single player FIFA. That’s a topic we have dealt with multiple times here at futfacts. Still, multiplayer and singleplayer are two different things in this respect.