EA could use AI to automatically scale a game's difficulty based on your play habits and make it easier or harder depending on your skill.
EA has published a patent that could eliminate the need for difficulty options in its games. The concept is simple: The publisher wants to use AI-based machine learning to collect info on how users play games, and use those metrics to scale a game's difficulty. If you die multiple times on a boss, for example, the game will automatically adjust itself so you have a better chance.
The idea here is to keep users engaged with a product for longer periods of time. As EA has said in the past, long-term engagement is more important than game sales. EA makes a myriad of games with live services and microtransactions, and this technology could be used to scale games in real-time.
Technically, this idea isn't a new one for EA. The application is a direct continuation of "dynamic difficulty adjustment" patents filed first in 2016, then in 2018 and 2019.
EA has invested a lot into this kind of tech, and has been experimenting with new fledgling advancements like AI, machine learning, and cloud game streaming with its SEED division. EA has been spending more on R&D steadily throughout the years--the research and development spending includes new tech like machine learning and games development.
Remember, this is just a patent and it may not actually become an included feature in EA games.
Here's some quotes lifted from the patent:
It is generally desirable for a video game to appeal to a large number of users. However, different users have different levels of skill and/or abilities when it comes to playing video games or video games of a particular genre of type. Further, different users have different desires with respect to how challenging a video game is to play.
For example, some users prefer video games that are relatively challenging. These types of users may tend to be more engaged by a video game that may require a lot of practice to master and typically may not mind repeating the same portion of the video game numerous times before being successful.
In contrast, some users prefer video games that are relatively easy. These types of users may tend to be more engaged by a video game where obstacles are easily overcome and the users rarely are required to repeat a portion of the video game over to be successful.
Software developers typically desire for their software to engage users for as longa s possible. The longer a user is engaged with the software, the more likely that the software will be successful. The relationship between length of engagement of the user and the success of the software is particularly true with respect to video games.
The longer a users plays a particular video game, the more likely that the user enjoys the game and thus, the more likely the user will continue to play the game.
Often, games that are too difficult or too easy with result in less enjoyment for a user. Consequently, the user is likely to the 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.
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