So on Friday October 3 2014 I posted the first part of a weekend long test to see how well FIFA 15 could predict upcoming games in the English football leagues (inspired by a conversation with Cam Robinson of GameSpot on the eve of his Reality Check episode on this very subject, check that out here).
To figure this out I used different parameters than Cam, I opted to see if it could predict the score line, who scored and in some cases how the goals were scored (e.g. from a penalty kick). I used the same settings (all default) and same system (PS3) to run the games and somehow managed to not go crazy or shout at the screen whilst watching over 598 minutes (that’s around 10 hours) of the a.i. playing football!
At this point I now have the results for the 3 games played on Friday so let’s see how FIFA 15 did. A point will be awarded to FIFA for every correct portion of the prediction. Reality gains a point for things FIFA didn’t get.
Blackpool 0 – 1 Cardiff
Cardiff: 16’ Le Fondre
Blackpool 1 – 0 Cardiff
Blackpool: 64’ Zoko
FIFA didn’t stack up too well here, the amount of goals was right but it was the wrong way round meaning this time: FAIL. Scores: FIFA 0 – 2 Reality
Burton 1 – 0 Cambridge
Burton: 16’ Akins
Burton 1 – 3 Cambridge
Burton: 81’ Akins
Cambridge: 35’ 76’ Elliott/64’ Donaldson
Well in this case FIFA did predict the lone goal scorer for Burton so let’s give it a point. Aside from that it got the rest wrong so reality gets 3 points (for 2 goal scorers and the final score). Scores: FIFA 1 – 5 Reality
Dag & Red 1 – 2 Exeter
Dag & Red: 53’ Cureton
Exeter: 10’ Grimes (Pen)/45’ Keohane
Dag & Red 1 – 2 Exeter
Dag & Red: 11’ Cureton
Exeter: 81’ Keohane (Pen)/90’ Davies
This time FIFA pulls back some points. It got 2 of the goal scorers, the final score and the method for one goal giving it another 4 points. Reality in this case walks away with only 1 extra point. I don’t know the actual numbers but the chances of a game correctly predicting 2/3 goal scorers, the final score line and that one of the goals for a specific team would be from a penalty in a single game has to be astronomical. I’m genuinely impressed with FIFA 15 for this result.
The total scores at the end of Friday are: FIFA 5 – 6 Reality
It looks like in terms of final scores, ways goals are scored and who scores them FIFA can, to some extent, predict the future. The real test starts on Saturday when 38 games are played across 4 leagues and Sunday with 5 games across 2 leagues. I won’t analyse every game from Saturday and Sunday like I have done with Fridays above. Instead I’ll highlight a few games where FIFA did really well and some where it didn’t but I will still score its performance for all the upcoming games.
As always feel free to join the discussion either in the comments below or over on Twitter where you can find me @PaulMurday.
All results from the BBC Sports website.