EA Sports is on a bit of a roll when it comes to using its FIFA games to correctly predict men’s World Cup winners, with a flawless streak stretching back four tournaments.
The gaming giant has successfully used its football franchise to forecast the winners of each of the past four tournaments: Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014, France in 2018 and Argentina in 2022.
And it’s worth noting that as part of its Qatar 2022 World Cup simulations, EA Sports also concluded that Lionel Messi would end up winning the Golden Ball for the tournament’s outstanding player. Messi was also predicted to win the Golden Boot, but had to settle for second place after finishing one goal behind France’s Kylian Mbappe in the final standings.
So with the 2023 Women’s World Cup set to kick off in Australia and New Zealand next month, EA Sports has used FIFA 23 to tell us who will clearly walk away with the trophy.
With the game’s tournament updates, including a detailed database and freshly recalibrated player ratings available to users from the end of June, EA Sports ran the full competition — all 64 games, from the group stage to the grand finale in Sydney — in order to ascertain the overall winner.
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) June 26, 2023
The simulation also saw three forwards top the scoring charts as the USWNT’s Alex Morgan, Spain’s Alexia Putellas and Germany’s Alex Popp finished level with six goals each. But Putellas took home the Golden Boot award having provided more assists.
Now, having listed EA Sports’ recent success when it comes to calling the outright men’s World Cup winners, the finer details of their sim-based predictions can be a little more unreliable.
Prominent examples of prophesies gone awry include backing Brazil to reach the final of their home World Cup in 2014. (In reality, the Selecao were bundled out in the semifinals after being subjected to a 7-1 humbling at the hands of eventual winners Germany.)
Also in 2014, EA Sports deigned that defending champions Spain would finish with a bronze medal after trouncing Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in the third-place playoff. (But neither of the Iberian rivals managed to make it out of their respective groups.)
Perhaps it’s too much to ask for a video game to extrapolate the precise machinations of a real football competition with 100% accuracy, but with the first Women’s World Cup sim-based prediction now official, the pressure is on.