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Sunday, April 21, 2024

EA doesn’t want to exclude some of FIFA 22’s PC players, so it’s excluding all of them

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You want the truth, by which I mean FIFA 22’s next-gen Hypermotion technology? You can’t handle the truth!

Yes, Electronic Arts has laid down the law on FIFA 22’s PC version, which is essentially the last-gen console version. FIFA 22 is being marketed on its ‘HyperMotion’ technology, which is a combination of motion capture and an algorithm trained on “8.7 million frames of advanced match capture”, which then “writes new animations in real time to create organic football movement across a variety of interactions on the pitch.”

Essentially HyperMotion will see a bunch of additional and bespoke animations that make players look more realistic: things like shouting at each other about runs, or the way bodies collide or react to the ball. That all sounds great and kind of rather core to a football game: a feature that is all about improving the on-pitch experience.

Except if you’re playing on PC. HyperMotion is only a part of FIFA 22 on next-gen consoles and Stadia, with PC players instead receiving pretty much the same game as our cousins on PS4 and Xbox One. I asked Electronic Arts about why this was the case and it provided the following statement:

“Bringing HyperMotion technology and Immersive Match Day features to PC would have raised the minimum spec requirements and resulted in a large proportion of players unable to run the game. This would have significantly impacted our PC community who enjoy FIFA each year, with many players being excluded or forced to upgrade their machines to play the game. We are looking forward to all our PC players experiencing the gameplay advances and new season of innovation on offer in FIFA 22.”

“A large proportion of players”?

So: FIFA 22 isn’t getting the next-gen pretties because capitalism. PC is far from FIFA’s biggest market, and EA would rather offer an inferior product to more people than take advantage of the higher-end hardware.

The EA spiel about HyperMotion is obviously going to be slightly different to the reality of what this tech is doing: is it actually creating animations on-the-fly on PS5? Either way, it seems like the FIFA development team didn’t consider PC an important platform.

What seems outrageous about this is that EA has been giving PC FIFAs short shrift for several years, and the company still hasn’t come up with a solution. Yes the game can be sold to more people if the basic specs are lower, but in this case that also means every PC gamer gets FIFA 22 without the headline features.

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