EA Patents Hardware-Based Matchmaking, Could Match Players With Similar PCs

Electronic Arts (EA) has shown interest in an online matchmaking system that takes into account the hardware of players before assigning them a server.

According to a new patent from a few days back, EA can have its multiplayer games run “a hardware analysis module” to determine and evaluate the hardware characteristics of the system players are playing on. The filing suggests that these module runs will be conducted while players are sitting in online queues and waiting for the matchmaking to finish.

The data collected from the hardware analysis will help the module give each player-owned system a rating that can be incorporated into the matchmaking algorithm of the game in question.

The filing clearly separates hardware characteristics from matchmaking characteristics, the latter being the traditional kind that includes latency, skill level, locations, and other such factors to ensure a balanced and fair match.

EA refrains from clarifying what kind of hardware characteristics will exactly determine its patented matchmaking. What the publisher does mention in the filing is that systems will be rated based on their data throughputs in addition to data storage speeds.

The hardware analysis module that can run tests, such as a data throughput analysis and a processing analysis, to evaluate and rate the user computing system.

The ratings can be incorporated into the matchmaking analysis along with other matchmaking characteristics.

The attached drawings also suggest that the evaluation module could possibly gather data for just about every hardware installed in a system. That includes the graphics card, processor, memory, peripherals and accessories, and display.

In theory, EA could be thinking ahead of the curve to match players according to their hardware capabilities. For example, a player with hardware good enough to play at higher frame rates and resolutions would not be matched against a player with older specifications in the same multiplayer game.

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