FIFA 17 has over 700 clubs with over 18,000 players. That means 5.4 million data points to get realistic play in the new game. That’s a daunting task for anyone to take on.
Michael Mueller-Moehring is the man in charge of getting these rankings right, and he spoke to ESPN FC as to how the process works:
There’s always a player from the second division in Switzerland who gets bought on transfer deadline day, and all you know about this player is his name, date of birth and his position — and his position may be as precise as, ‘Oh, he’s a midfielder.’
And this player has to go into the game.
We guess a little bit … until our people have seen the player in action.
He continued saying EA has a 9,000-member network that they call their “data reviewers.” The group does contain some professional-level scouts and coaches, but it consists heavily of season-ticket holders that can watch the games in person.
The team at EA also combs through actual statistics from real games in order to see how well a player may keep possession of the ball, shot accuracy and those types of stats that are easy to see. He does say, however, that there are many stats that just aren’t available.
The team also bases how good players are by their league. The best player in a second tier league will not be as good as the best player in a first tier league, so they make their stats relative to who the players are playing with and against:
If Messi were playing in the Irish league, his attributes would drop simply because he’s not on the highest level anymore.
So, a lot of the ranking is subjective, basing itself on those 9,000 data reviewers that use the eye test to judge a player’s ability.
FIFA 17 is out today, September 27.