How Neymar, Ronaldo and FIFA fans inspired the biggest changes to FIFA 19

From shooting to controlling the ball and how you manage your players from the sidelines, FIFA 19 has seen a number of changes.

Goal sat down with FIFA 19 gameplay producer Kantcho Doskov to find out how Ronaldo, Neymar, Pep Guardiola and the FIFA community have helped to inspire the biggest changes in FIFA 19.

What is the Active Touch system, is it more than improving players’ control?

It’s a brand-new system which creates a lot more animation variety for passing and shooting, and introduces a whole heap of new flicks and tricks.

Who were you watching when you decided this needed to be added to FIFA 19?

When we watched Neymar play, he obviously does all these flicks over opponents’ heads and controls the ball with flair, so we wanted to introduce those kinds of animations into the game.

Could that make Neymar over-powered?
We made sure to test the game and, if you try to do flicks throughout the whole pitch, eventually you’ll get tackled by a defender.

Which skill moves do you enjoy the most?
One of my favourites is the one that Iniesta likes to do, as he takes a lateral touch and passes his opponent. If you time it right, you’ll be successful, but it takes a bit of practice to learn the new tricks.

From what we’ve seen here, Timed Finishing is going to be a big change in FIFA 19. How would you describe it?

It’s a brand-new risk vs reward finishing mechanic. If you time it better you’ll have a better, more accurate shot on goal, but the risk is that if you mis-time it you’ll likely shank your shot and it will go in Row Z.

Is it easier for better players, like Ronaldo, to do a Timed Finish?
No, in the sense that every time you try to do a timed finish you need to be very accurate in your timing. So, regardless of the player, if you want to get a well-timed Timed Finish you have to wait for the ball to get close to you and, as you shoot, wait for the foot to contact the ball, that’s when you hit the shot button for the second time. But the better players will have more accurate shots anyway which increases the likelihood shots will go in.

Why such a drastic change?
We heard from the FIFA community that they wanted more user skill in how the game plays and this is a new mechanic that really rewards players taking the time to master the timing of shooting. In previous years all you had to do was press shoot, aim and you’d get a shot off. Last year you had the double tap for low driven shots which were over powered, but it didn’t matter what the timing was. For 19, the timing really matters.

Dynamic tactics is very different to the other gameplay changes as the effort goes in before the game starts. What does it let you do?

These are brand-new options for defence and offence tactics. You can customise your mentality, so defence could be five at the back for formation, but ultra-attacking could be a completely different formation and you can custom everything to your heart’s content, with each individual tactic within the game.

What made you upgrade this from what was in FIFA 18, as there were far fewer options for changing tactics on the fly?

It was when we saw Manchester City and Pep Guardiola, and how he’s able to change the team plan depending on the situation. We’ve tried to look at what he does and give you the options, and more tools, to customise team width, your defensive line, how much pressure you want to put on the ball, how many players you want to put in the box, those are all options in FIFA 19.

With all these changes on the pitch, which players do you enjoy playing with the most?

For me, players who are very skilled, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar – the five-star skillers, they are going to be really fun to play with due to the new tricks we’ve added to the game. But even players who may not be as quick on the ball, for example, Busquets, or Kevin De Bruyne, who aren’t the paciest players, are very good at passing and have very high vision attributes. They’re going to be able to ping passes across the field like not everyone else can.

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