A recent patent application filed by EA reveals that the company has developed a series of adaptive systems that attempt to adjust a game’s difficulty to your skill level. This adaptive system is designed primarily to keep users playing a game for as long as possible.
The patent application was filed back in October 2020, and it was made public back in late March. The systems automatically adjust the difficulty setting of a game based on a player’s skill level and the desired duration of a game session. The systems mentioned in the application separate players into “user clusters” based on their skill level and adjusts a difficulty to a particular “seed” in order to keep those players engaged.
“Software developers typically desire for their software to engage users for as long as possible,” a portion of the application reads. “…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.”
Adaptive difficulty settings are nothing new in video games, though they are relatively rare. Notable examples of such systems include Left 4 Dead and God Hand. However, there are many games where the “adaptive difficulty” is hidden from the player, such as Resident Evil 4. In other video game patent news, Warner Bros. recently patented the Nemesis system featured in Shadow of Mordor.