'FIFA 14' debuts Global Scouting Network

Die-hard “FIFA” fans can spend hours upon hours in career mode, tinkering with their lineups to put the perfect squad on the polygonal pitch. “FIFA 14” enhances the experience with its Global Scouting Network, as EA Sports attempts to add elements of professional scouting services into its video game.

“The Global Scouting Network is our biggest change to career mode this year,” producer Sebastian Enrique said. “In the past, if you want to hire somebody to play for your team, what you do is look for hard numbers. You might only want someone who has an 89 rating or higher. Imagine a coach doing that in real life. It would be impossible. What they do is they look at player traits. You get a scout, and you tell them you want someone who is a speed dribbler who sends good crosses.

“What we’re doing this year is introducing this scouting mechanism in career mode. You’re no longer searching for players with hard numbers and attributes. You’re going to be searching for traits.”

While playing GM outside of the transfer window didn’t offer you much to do in “FIFA 13,” in “14,” the scouting takes place throughout the experience.

“You can start searching for players early then refine your search, so when you finally do get to that transfer window, you know who you are targeting,” Enrique said. “If you’re a fan of the MLS, you probably don’t need to scout those players because they are known to you, but if you want a player from Brazil, and you don’t know much about him, you’re going to need to hire a scout to find out everything you need to know to see if he fits the playing style you’re looking for. This really changes the way people play career mode. You’re giving instructions to the scouts, you’re getting preliminary reports, you’re refining your searches. … Now it’s really fun to play career mode all season long.”

For more on “FIFA 14,” check out our first-look preview.