Goalkeepers Get Smarter in FIFA 15

By Jonathan Barnes, 2 years ago
Whether you call it Football or Soccer, there was no denying that this year's World Cup caught everyone's attention, including the developers at EA Canada as they worked on FIFA 15.

We picked the winner of the Brazil World Cup with our simulation. We do a simulation every year and we actually, before the tournament, picked Germany. I’m not sure too many people agreed with us. A lot of people were looking at Argentina or Brazil as the favourites.
Nick Channon, Senior Producer on the game, was no doubt excited when Die Mannschaft confirmed the simulation as they hoisted the trophy, but he was even more excited to see the play of the goalkeepers who are drawing additional focus in this year's iteration.

We’ve been working on goalkeepers for two years – it’s a very complex position both in the real world and in FIFA 15. We wanted to provide something that felt very different.

Previously, if we wanted to add more animations around the goalkeeper then we needed more memory. What we’ve now ... is a system where the goalkeepers are evaluating significantly more often, so obviously they’re more intelligent.
Up to this point the limited processing power of gaming systems had goalkeepers making a decision and sticking with it. Channon cited an example of, "If a cross came in, the goalkeeper decides to catch it, he was going to try and catch, even if in that split second it was probably better to punch."

The new console generation has allotted the processing power to allow the goalkeeper to make decisions on the fly, making them smarter and quicker to adapt... just like Tim Howard.

FIFA 15 is set for release on both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One on September 26th.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.