Apart from my love for crunching numbers, I've been a fan of the FIFA game series ever since I got my first copy back in 2001. Those were fond memories; back then, there was the signature EA intro accompanied with limited gameplay where pixelated players were running at the mercy of the direction keys of your keyboard. Fast forward 20 years later, not only do players look lifelike and can run 360 degrees, music has also grown to become an important aspect to the gaming experience.
The FIFA game series has evolved to become one of many platforms for music discovery. Through the current incumbent FIFA 20, I've grown fond of UK Grime and discovered one of my favorite banging hits, "Make Way For The King" by Ohana Bam.
So when news that FIFA 21 was coming out in early October, I pre-ordered my Ultimate Edition copy and went on an information hunt for its soundtracks. Thankfully, some people listed the tracks from its Closed Beta version, with some familiar faces such as Stormzy. Intrigued, I decided to use our AI to tag through the track list to understand more and here's what I found:
In terms of the genres tagged by our AI, the soundtracks seem like a continuation from its predecessor - with Electronic (60%), Hip Hop (37%) and Pop (27%) as the prevalent genres. In fact, the cover feature of Kylian Mbappe, Erling Håland and the younger generation of football stars justifies the music selection, which reminds me of the popular ones on Tiktok's. Associated genre elements of Reggae, Dancehall, Old School Hip Hop and UK Grime aren't too surprising either; I'd imagine the tracks to be accompanying the street football, freestyling and underground themes of VOLTA.
Most tracks hover around the range of 121-140 BPM and are of medium energy at the very least. In fact, 43% of them are tagged by our AI as high energy - so EA is definitely trying to keep us gamers sufficiently pumped up and adrenaline flowin'. After all, a football video game is supposed to be action-packed!
When I examine the mood tags identified by our AI, they remain consistent to the two earlier points. The main moods of the tracks are largely categorised to be Powerful (32%), Energetic (28%) and Exciting (10%), which provides an adrenaline-driven, energetic gaming experience. The soundtracks also promote largely positive emotions (74%) from the gamers. Furthermore, the quirkiness of the tracks (12%) contribute to the FIFA 21 brand and extends the association of being trendy and modern.
Analysing soundtracks this quickly and efficiently is just one of many ways to use our AI. For some, our AI can assist and streamline the sync search for the perfect track list of the next video game. For a numbers geek like me, it has only piqued my interest and got me psyched up even more for the official release - I can't wait for October the 6th!