Wait…what are these ratings?

For many years, EA Sports has been embroiled in a number of controversies, ranging from subpar gameplay to the infamous microtransactions that are present in every corner of their games nowadays. However, something they’re also bad at is rating players, and particularly bad at it when it comes to FIFA. But you would think that a Fortune 500 company like Electronic Arts and their sports division would pay the best people to make sure that they do a good job at rating players, right? Wrong!

The player ratings for FIFA 21 were released, and immediately, people roundly criticized them. However, cherry picking complaints is not something I want to talk about, even though it’s still criminal that Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked lower than Lionel Messi (they should be ranked the same). What I want to talk about is a disturbing trend of lowering a player’s ranking and individual attributes simply because they get older.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are examples that age should not affect how talented you are. But they’re not affected. Players like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are affected. Specifically in Aubameyang’s case, just because he’s 31 doesn’t mean his speed attribute should be going down. The Arsenal striker and Gabon international is still one of the game’s fastest players, and his video game likeness should continue reflecting that.

However, there’s also the issue of young players not getting their due. For instance, Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies has burst onto the scene over the last 18 months as one of the best left-backs in the world, at only 19 years of age. Unfortunately, EA Sports doesn’t believe that someone so young can be ranked so highly yet, so the Canada international isn’t even one of the 20 best left-backs in the game. I think this is outrageous. Alright, Davies probably isn’t the world’s best left-back yet, but you can’t look at me and seriously tell me that there are 20 left-backs better than him in world football right now. Preposterous!

My point is that EA Sports really needs to reevaluate the effort they put into rating these players on a fair and justifiable level. They’ve been getting criticism about this for years (and not just in FIFA), and they’ll continue getting this criticism until they get it right.

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