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(Pocket-lint) - Yesterday, we posted a story on a patent filing by Electronic Arts that suggested it could use dynamic difficulty adjustment in future games. However, EA has since got back to us to clarify a few things.

We previously saw a patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. It describes an in-game system to raise and lower difficulty based on a player's skill level.

But, as EA told Pocket-lint, this patent was originally filed in 2016, with the latest version being a continuation. That means the technology contained in the patent could be used at some point, but was neither recently developed nor necessarily implented.

To be honest, we like the idea that artificial intelligence could asses a player's ability in real time and adjust difficulty accordingly. But, also understand EA's reticence to use it in its competitive sports games, for example.

Indeed, it responded to previous allegations on the use of dynamic difficulty adjustment in FIFA, Madden and NHL games in a blog post, which you can read here.

Like we say though, we actually think it could help during other titles - such as RPGs, adventures and platformers. So hopefully, these are still in the forefront EA's thoughts for the technology.

This could allow for games that are more naturally suited to player skill rather than present an experience that is either too hard or too simple. It could also put an end to "easy mode" shaming.

One other possible benefit to AI difficulty assessment suggested in the original patent is that it could help boost longevity and engagement. For example, if you die repeatedly while trying to beat an end-level boss, the AI can adjust the game settings to make it fractionally easier, yet still offer a decent challenge for your skill level.

We'll admit, there have been many times we've put down a game because we were stuck in one section, without ever really picking it up again. That impacts our thoughts on whether or not to buy a sequel in future too.

Dynamic difficulty adjustment technologies have been implemented before - role-playing games have often used similar, more crude mechanisms to level-up enemies to match the player's character or party. However, by working in real-time, it could be more seamless - the player wouldn't notice significant change.

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Hopefully, EA and other publishers and developers will consider other uses of AI across titles in future. For example, several years ago, we put to the FIFA team that AI could be employed to analyse and copy player play styles for offline matches, much like the Drivatar deployment in Forza games. It'd certainly make the Ultimate Team single-player grinds more interesting.

It probably won't happen. But hey, we can dream.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 8 April 2021.
  • Via: EA could use AI to automatically scale a game's difficulty Read more: https://www.tweaktown.com/news/78632/ea-could-use-ai-to-automatically-scale-games-difficulty/index.html - tweaktown.com
  • Source: Patent Application US 2021/0086083 - pdfaiw.uspto.gov
Sections EA Games