Many EA Sports FC players have been outraged after ‘discovering’ that Ultimate Team matches are rigged, but it’s just a false theory that’s been circulating for years

There are many players in the EA Sports FC community who have accused the developers of match fixing. The story dates back practically to the launch of the Ultimate Team mode, when the term ‘Handicap’ began to become popular. According to some users, the game had a system that punished players with better cards by causing their defenses to fail more while they were controlled by the machine or their shots hitting the suit more frequently. Although it has remained in the past, it was a really popular thought and there were even players who filled their benches with bronze cards to reduce the impact of this supposed mechanic created by Electronic Arts and hidden in the game code. Now this theory is not taken into account, but the conspiracies have not disappeared.

A new year, a new conspiracy about EA Sports FC

Currently, complaints regarding this alleged match-fixing at EA Sports FC are related to the ‘Momentum‘. Supposedly, this is a mechanic that favors the losing player to lead to more closely contested matches and epic comebacks. It causes the CPU of the player ahead on the scoreboard to become stuck, resulting in different effects depending on who you ask. Defenses that do not steal the ball, failed passes, suspicious rebounds that always benefit the same player or long shots that sneak into the top corner. The idea is always the same: “In some way that I don’t describe, the game is being turned against me to give an advantage to my opponent, who he’s beating me unfairly and he actually plays worse than me.

The situation has become even more exaggerated over the last few days. It has started to go viral a YouTube video that supposedly confirms this theory. In it we see a user playing a FUT Champions match normally. However, everything changes when they score a goal. A temporary message appears at the top right of the screen informing you that the difficulty has been reduced. It would start in “Legend” when the result is a 0-0 draw and with each goal it would go down one step until reaching “Beginner” if we lose by five or more. This is where the problem arises. Although the video appears to be manipulated, many users who want to believe in the ‘Momentum’ theory have used it as proof that EA Sports is deceiving us.

This is the image that caused the controversy. Look at the upper right corner.

It is surprising, since even professional players have defended this video as proof of the existence of the ‘Momentum’. Corentin “RocKy” Chevrey, who has been competing for eight years and is still active in this EA Sports FC 24, wrote the following on social networks: “I don’t even understand why everyone has been surprised (…) We have known for years that the game is ‘scripted’ to favor one of the two players during matches and that this ‘advantage’ will even change from one side to the other during the same match. It remains quite blatant as always and there is no need for proof to know it. You just need play a lot,” said the Frenchman.

The reality is that, although for the last seven years players have tried to find evidence confirming the existence of ‘Momentum’, no one has made any progress. In fact, This is the strongest evidence in history. A YouTube video uploaded by an anonymous account showing a bug that, among the thousands of EA Sports FC matches played every weekend, only affected him. We are not going to make much more effort to deny the story because it does not seem necessary. However, there is a real reason why gamers might distrust Electronic Arts. This is a patent that the company carried out in 2016.

Players filled their bench with mediocre cards to lower the rating to four and a half stars.

Electronic Arts registered in 2016 a patent for dynamic difficulty adjustment in their video games. The title is quite self-descriptive, since it would be a system that would allow “the difficulty level of a video game to be automatically adjusted” so that it is “undetectable by a user” with the aim of “increasing player retention.” The company’s theory is that the games would be more equal so that they would be much more interesting, causing players to remain active in the video game for longer. Ultimately this could increase sales of future installments of said games, those of microtransactions or improve the general image of the company.

The reality is, however, that this patent is not applied to EA Sports FC. This has been confirmed, at least, the justice of the State of California. The company faced a lawsuit in the United States accusing it of using “dynamic difficulty adjustment” to manipulate players into buying more packs in different games that include Ultimate Team mode. The reality is that there was never a single solid piece of evidence on this matter and the lawsuit was dropped. “We have provided plaintiffs with detailed technical information and access to our engineers, confirming (once again) that we do not use scripting or dynamic difficulty adjustment in Ultimate Team modes,” the company’s final statement read. .

In this sense, it seems difficult to defend the perspective that a YouTube video is enough to refute an entire judicial process. Luck has a considerable influence on EA Sports FC matches and it is normal that sometimes we feel disadvantaged by the game. However, these are design elements that are in no way related to ‘Momentum’. The title has a lot of room for improvement in the CPU’s behavior when defending, offering clear passing lines when the opponent pressures the ball out. Fatigue also affects the performance of the players considerably, giving the impression that the opponent is not passing over them. There are many elements to criticize, but that does not mean that the game is actively fixing games.