EA Sports is counting with some FIFA 20 players to participate in a ‘Live Study’ to test some of the changes that would if all goes well decrease input lag. The franchise has suffered from a lack of responsiveness in the last years, and with the release of the 2020 version of the game, the issue seem to have peaked due to discomfort being reported on EA forums.
EA Sports is implementing an in-game button overlay for and will gather more information about connectivity and responsiveness changes. EA Sports is trying to determine if the input lag is caused by real-world networking conditions which “are made up of many variable factors such as packet loss, weak WiFi signal, and more”.
When we make any online change or update, it affects millions of people, each with unique playing conditions. This is why we’ve started implementing live studies alongside our existing internal testing, whenever we investigate a potential change related to connectivity.
Once we identify a potential change and have tested it internally, we determine a group of volunteer players who can give us actionable feedback. These players play the game with the potential change in effect for a period of time, they let us know everything about their experience, and their matches give us valuable real-world data to analyze. Although our internal investigations are able to simulate countless networking scenarios, it’s always helpful to look at real-world data as well.
Live studies greatly assist our ability to make informed decisions regarding future connectivity and responsiveness changes. We’re very fortunate to have so many players who want to participate and share their experiences with us.
One thing that’s important to consider though, is that our live study approach has to be deliberate in order to work effectively. You can think of this like any real-world study; they take time to generate actionable results. We look to make large scale changes when we’re certain of their long term effects, and this certainty comes from internal testing, data, and player feedback.