EA SPORTS appear to have debunked long-standing claims FIFA gameplay is secretly controlled by “scripting” after producing evidence amid a Californian legal battle regarding Ultimate Team and their flagship title’s code.
- Lawsuit claimed EA unlawfully altered gameplay.
- In response, FIFA publishers unveiled ‘DDA’ inner workings.
- “Scripting” claims now appear to have been debunked.
FIFA fans have long claimed gameplay in the football title’s competitive Ultimate Team mode, as well as a majority of online playlists, have been secretly controlled by notorious “scripting.”
The theory revolves around “Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment,” a code string found in the franchise’s backend. According to FIFA players, this “DDA” code will fiddle with player stats, game chance, and the overall result of online games. For many, the secret presence of “scripting” in FIFA isn’t a theory, it’s an unspoken fact.
In Nov. 2020, three Californians forced EA’s hand on the issue.
They leveled a lawsuit — ‘Zajonc v. Electronic Arts’ — at the FIFA publishers, claiming they “unlawfully increase game difficulty” in an effort to sell more Ultimate Team packs across multiple titles.
That lawsuit has now been withdrawn, EA confirmed, after the famous sports publishers unveiled the inner workings of their “DDA” system used in FIFA, Madden, and NHL Ultimate Team matches during the now-closed court battle.
“We provided them with detailed technical information and access to speak with our engineers, all of which confirmed (again) that there is no DDA or scripting in Ultimate Team modes,” an EA SPORTS spokesperson said on March 4.
“Ensuring play is fair is critical to all of us at EA. We’ve tried to be as clear as possible that this commitment applies to us just as much as it does to our players,” the publishers continued.
“While EA does own a patent for DDA technology, that was never in FIFA.”
“We’ve publicly said before we do not use any scripting or ‘Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment’ (DDA) or anything similar that would automatically adjust the difficulty of gameplay in FIFA, Madden and NHL Ultimate Team matches.
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“We would not use DDA technology to give online players an advantage or disadvantage in multiplayer modes. We absolutely do not have it in FIFA, Madden, or NHL. EA and the FIFA, Madden, and NHL teams remain committed to fair play.”
The ‘Zajonc’ court party has not commented on the findings.
EA is still facing a long-term lawsuit in France over similar “scripting” issues.
This is far from the first time EA SPORTS has become embroiled in a lawsuit regarding Ultimate Team packs either. The publishers have been accused of operating an “illegal” gambling system in Canada, and are facing $11.7m worth of fines in the Netherlands and France for similar reasons.
Earlier this year, EA hit an “all-time high” in FIFA microtransactions. The company made nearly $1 billion through in-game sales alone in Sep-Dec 2019. A slice of this was then used to lure David Beckham into an exclusive £40m rights deal.