What: To help boost sales and awareness of its World Cup add-on content for FIFA 18, EA sport has run the entire tournament through its simulator to come up with a final prediction.
Who: EA Sports
Why we care: As silly as it sounds, the game maker actually got this bet right for both the 2010 World Cup (Spain) and 2014 tournament (Germany), so it’s not without some precedent that we might take this latest game-fuelled prediction seriously. After seeing teams like Egypt, Iceland, and Mexico fall early in the group stage, the EA simulator predicts a 2-1 France win over Belgium in the first semi-final, and reigning champs Germany knocking out 2010 winners Spain with a 3-1 win. For the final, no winner emerged in regulation time, but France won the title 5-4 on penalties. French star Antoine Griezmann is predicted to win the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, while Spain’s David De Gea earned the Golden Glove Award as the top goalkeeper.
Perhaps it’s a lucky roll of the virtual dice, or maybe it’s that EA’s ability to accurately portray individual player’s skill level and abilities has become so eerily exact that it should come as no surprise that its prediction would come close to reality. Of course, humans are a wee bit more erratic IRL, and no video game (or human) would’ve predicted Iceland making it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 European Championships, so there’s still plenty of intrigue left in Russia.