EA patents automatic game difficulty adjustment

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EA has filed a patent for technology that allows it to dynamically and undetectedly adjust the difficulty of a game. With this technique, EA wants to tackle static difficulty levels and make gamers play longer.

EA, with its patented Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment System, monitors a user’s interaction with a game over a period of time and compares this data against models. After that, the technology makes a prediction for how long the player would like to continue the game session with the current game progress.

The artificial intelligence automatically adjusts the difficulty level to keep the player involved so that he wants to continue playing. In this way, EA wants to address the ‘static’ difficulty levels that discourage some players during a hard or easy part of a game and then close a game session more quickly. The application for a patent on technology does not mean that a company actually develops or wants to use the techniques.

EA has been thinking about this technology for several years. In 2016, the company applied for a similar patent for a similar technology. That was assigned to the company in 2018. Soon after, many gamers expressed their dismay at the potential use of this system in games like FIFA, where EA made a statement that it does not use the Adaptive Difficulty System in FIFA or other similar EA games.

That did not reassure gamers because at the end of 2020 some American gamers filed a class-action lawsuit against EA in which they suggested that the company did artificially influence the difficulty level to encourage gamers to buy loot boxes. EA provided the prosecutors with evidence showing that the technology is not incorporated in such games that the prosecutors dropped their charges on early last month.

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