January 27, 2021

FIFA 21: How ‘toxic’ behaviour is being tackled in new game

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Certain features of the football simulation have been taken out to avoid players becoming irritated

Have you ever wanted to throw your gaming controller through the TV because your online FIFA 20 opponent keeps celebrating a goal by shushing or dabbing?

Well, rest assured you might be able to keep your frustration under better control in the new FIFA 21 game, with EA Sports endeavouring to remove toxic features.

Sam Rivera, FIFA’s lead gameplay producer, has revealed that the developers have listened to feedback regarding situations where users would purposefully try to anger their opponent.

“We were told by the community that there is toxic behaviour in the game and we wanted to make sure we removed them,” Rivera said.

In past editions of FIFA, a common point of frustration was competitors overusing particular celebrations after scoring a goal – and making them run their full duration – to help rise the blood pressure of their opponent.

Rivera says that certain celebrations would be removed from FIFA 21, and although he did not reveal which would be canned from the game, expect moves such as the ‘pigeon’ and ‘dab’ to be under threat.

Another bugbear of FIFA users was the waiting times during choreographed scenes such as when the ball was out of play for a throw-in.

Some users would purposefully drag the scene out in order to frustrate an opponent or arrest their momentum.

But in FIFA 21, such cut scenes will be auto-skipped to allow for quicker, more seamless gameplay – and more importantly, less time-wasting and frustration.

There will also be a significant reduction in waiting times for players to take all set-pieces such as kick-offs, corners and free kicks.

Previously, players could let the clock run down while they waited the maximum amount of time to restart play – another tactic that could cause extreme irritation.

It isn’t just cutscenes where EA Sports have tried to reduce user frustration – there have also been significant tweaks to the playing mechanics involving tackling.

In FIFA 20, consumers became angry when they repeatedly made tackles and the ball would end up back with the opposition instantly.

However, with a new tackling system implemented in the new version, EA have assured that users will be rewarded more often for executing a well-timed tackle.

With all these added features to reduce player frustration, it appears EA are really trying to improve the levels of enjoyment from their consumers.