EA Responds To FIFA 20 Career Mode Fiasco
Since FIFA 20 release, many community members have vocalized their issues with the ever-present Career Mode. Many have criticized the lack of innovation the mode has received, as well as a number of issues with the mode.
EA Sports has responded to the current player outcry over FIFA 20 by detailing what’s next for the game and, to an extent, what went wrong. The developer went into a surprising amount of detail on its decision-making and the potential for change in a FAQ published a day after the #FixCareerMode hashtag trended on Twitter.
EA Sports outlined its top priorities for improvements to Career Mode, including a fix to AI teams fielding low OVR-rated lineups, top teams appearing low in the table or even being relegated, and improvements to the Career Mode scheduling algorithms to avoid match congestion.
A number of questions centred on small glitches, that EA have confirmed they are working on patches for. These include the Champions League not loading properly after a few seasons, ‘Ultimate’ difficulty being too easy and press conferences featuring irrelevant questions.
Some of the longer dev responses relate to the new ‘Dynamic Potential’ feature, and some unrealistic scenarios emerging because of this. As a result of the recent nature of this feature, EA are welcoming feedback and encouraging players to report their findings to a specific thread.
The majority of feedback regarding Ultimate Team pertains to the updated menu and accessibility of certain features such as Division Rivals Tier requirements will become visible in future updates.
The next section EA respond to is general gameplay feedback. This includes the seemingly underpowered nature of crosses and headers in FIFA 20. EA explains that feedback from FIFA 19 necessitated a nerf to this mechanic as a way of scoring.
“A big part of this decision is an effort to promote skill differentiation and the idea that most of the goals that are scored are the direct result of player actions,” EA said. They also state that they will continue to monitor these mechanics as FIFA 20’s life cycle develops.
With these feelings of neglect in mind, EA’s response to the outrage may not be quite what some fans had hoped. Addressing concern via Twitter, Franchise Lead Corey Andress explained the publisher’s side of the story.
Being that Career Mode is client-based (offline), we need to patch. Patches take time as fixes have to be identified, fixed, tested and then certified by first-party. Our first patch is on the way and locked, so likely we’ve missed the ability to put CM fixes in that patch.
— Corey Andress (@EACoreySA) September 27, 2019
“Let me say that the team is aware and prioritizing fixes for this area and have been successful in identifying some of the issues. In terms of an ETA or exact changes, I can’t provide that yet, but also want to be transparent and say it won’t be immediate.
“Being that Career Mode is client-based (offline), we need to patch. Patches take time as fixes have to be identified, fixed, tested and then certified by first-party. Our first patch is on the way and locked, so likely we’ve missed the ability to put CM fixes in that patch,” Andress said.
In other words, those angling for a fix for FIFA 20’s Career Mode woes may have to wait a while to see results. At the very least, players shouldn’t expect a large amount of fixes to be published over the next few days. EA’s #FixCareerMode fiasco bares a strong resemblance to the #Fix2K20 debacle that plagued 2K Sports and NBA 2K20 earlier this month. That Twitter campaign also gained global traction and prompted a quick response from the game’s developers.
EA Sports went further in its post than Career Mode, however. Regarding Ultimate Team, it addressed complaints about the Squad Building user interface (the perception is it takes too long to complete SBCs when compared to previous FUTs). On this, changes are coming in a future title update.
EA Sports also help its hands up on the issue of not being able to view the requirements for each rank in Division Rivals or each tier in Squad Battles.
“This was an unfortunate miss on our part when the screens in this area were redesigned for FIFA 20, so it wasn’t on our radar until the feedback started coming from the community during Early Access,” EA said. Again, the developers are working on a fix.
Interestingly, EA Sports addressed feedback on gameplay. In FIFA 20, headers are pretty much useless. It’s nigh-on impossible to score from a header, and crosses feel significantly nerfed following last year’s game, both from open play and set pieces.
This is not a bug, EA Sports said. It’s by design – and it’s not changing.
“Based on feedback from FIFA 19, both from players directly and based on our own data, the decision was made to make crossing and corners less effective in FIFA 20, resulting in less goals from headers,” EA Sports said.
“A big part of this decision is an effort to promote skill differentiation and the idea that most of the goals that are scored are the direct result of player actions.
“While we are always looking at ways to improve the game, at the moment we don’t have any plans to change this in FIFA 20.”
While gamers are generally more inclined to target large publishers like Electronic Arts and 2K Sports, one has to wonder if these parallel instances are a reflection of modern sports game development overall. The public might chaulk these issues up to a desire to rush out incomplete products in favor of microtransaction profits, but the issue is likely more complex. After all, sports games are one of the only genres that routinely operates on a single-year development cycle. For creators, such a quick turnaround time may be proving difficult to accomplish in a polished state.
FIFA 20 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.