In 2016, Electronic Arts has filed two patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office that are bound to change your playing experience by a considerable amount. Those patents have appeared online giving us some more information as to what they are about and make us think what impact they’ll have on the company’s games.
Those two patents will strongly affect the way you play. They include an innovative way of adjusting the given game’s difficulty mode to your playstyle and creating an online matchmaking algorithm which takes you play style, preferences, and playtime in account when creating a match. Both are awaiting approval so it might be a long time before we see them in action.
Let’s see what Electronic Arts is trying to do. The first patent focuses on making a dynamic difficulty adjustment system for the company’s games. This system will calculate your player experience and adjust the gameplay accordingly so that it keeps you engaged. Even though it sounds tempting it may cause problems to both casual and hardcore players when they realize their gameplay has been rearranged to fit the game and not their preferences.
The second one is a bit more complex. It’s named Engagement Optimized Matchmaking (EOMM) and includes a matchmaking algorithm for multiplayer games that takes your playstyle, experience, and sportsmanship into account before matching you with another player. Electronic Arts wants to first introduce this system in 1v1 battles but is confident that it can not only be used for video games. The research paper reads:
“We can change the objective function to other core game metrics of interest, such as play time, retention, or spending. EOMM allows one to easily plug in different types of predictive models to achieve the optimization.”
The same (kind of) patent is also filed by Activision one of the biggest antagonists of EA. Both patents are also calculating your spending tendencies in the games you play so microtransactions have a huge role to play in this.
Electronic Arts patents may seem harmless at first sight but the second one can easily be accountable for players spending more and more money on EA’s games. For what it’s worth they are just patents awaiting approval so we shall know the outcome of their use when and if they get approved.