EA gets patent approved for Dynamic Difficulty tech

FIFA 21 developers EA have had a patent approved for their Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA) technology.

Much has been made of ‘scripting’ in FIFA in recent years, but this is a major step for EA.

Find out more below.

What is DDA?

DDA utilises the cloud and AI technology to adjust the difficulty of games like FIFA 21 and Madden 21 based on interaction and input from the gamers themselves.

FIFA 21 EA Sports DDA Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment Patent Technolgoy
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ADAPTIVE CHALLENGE: DDA aims to keep things fresh for players

For example, if you are struggling to score goals in FIFA the DDA system will adjust the difficulty of the game and make it slightly easier.

It works the other way round too, making the game more difficult if you are succeeding easily.

Effectively, the system is used to maintain user engagement, but more on that later.

The Patent

EA’s patent was approved on Thursday, 25 March, and outlines the intention of keeping players engaged.

“Often, games that are too difficult or too easy will result in less enjoyment for a user. Consequently, the user is likely to play the game less.

“Thus, one of the challenges of game development is to design a game with a difficulty level that is most likely to keep a user engaged for a longer period of time.”

FIFA 21 Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment Patent Technology EA
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HOW IT WORKS: The patent provides visuals about this new tech

Contained within the patent are several graphics detailing how the DDA system works.

To summarise as briefly as possible, DDA will collect a gamers data input while playing and determine the difficulty based on per-determined data and adjust in-game.

Got it? Good.

EA has been embroiled in some legal issues over the last few months, with the use of FIFA points currently banned in Belgium and Netherlands.

EA was also involved in a class-action lawsuit related to the DDA technology earlier this year.

They were accused of exploiting the DDA technology in online game modes of FIFA, Madden and NHL which in turn encouraged players to buy packs to improve their teams.

The lawsuit was dropped by the claimants after explanation from EA on how they use the technology and the offer of access to the process behind it.

EA then released a statement shortly after the dismissal of the class-action lawsuit, detailing their fair play and dynamic difficulty adjustment policy.

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