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


In pre release interviews, people like FIFA’s game producer Sam Rivera and Create Director Matt Prior, they mention a new feature called “Dramatic Moments”. This has yet again sparked the community’s conspiracy division. Should these 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 interviews ourselves.

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 otherworldly. EA’s Matt Prior adds more clarity:

“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.

The claim

Tha claim this time isn’t much of a claim but more a speculation. When an EA official uses the two six letter words M-O-M-E-N-T and C-A-S-U-A-L in the same interview where they mention the five letter word D-R-A-M-A, people start forming connections in their heads:

“Dramatic moments sounds terribly close to momentum”

“Dramatics moment(um)s”

“I wanted only ONE thing from this game. To get rid of momentum shit. And what do we get? Official confirmation about it. Seriously this is terrible stuff.”

“Mark my words… Slider manipulation will be even more prevalent in FIFA 18. It’s the most efficient way of incorporating those so called dramatic moments.”
(– Comments on Reddit)

One can’t be blamed for thinking that this sounds like another case of pareidolia.

Is Dramatic Moments momentum?

Clearly, some of the people quoted above speculated that the outcome of adding more context sensitive wonder goals to the gaming experience of casual players would be a reduced skill gap. But when we read what Matt Prior actually is saying, he isn’t talking about reducing a skill gap. This is about getting more realism, and part of reality is that players act relative to the context. Taking a free kick is easy on the training ground, but in the context of a world cup final, it’s a different story.

In addition to that, there is this foul smell of cherry-pickerism about insisting to read evidence of conspiracy into the words of a source, while at the same time denying the same source any credibility when it denies that very same conspiracy. This quote is from the aforementioned Balls.ie interview with Matt Prior:

“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)

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