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Sorry, You're Just That Bad: EA Insists FIFA Does Not Utilize Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment Patents

EA Sports has officially denied any existence of EA’s proprietary algorithm in FIFA 19.

EA Sports has officially denied any existence of EA’s proprietary algorithm in FIFA 19, which automatically adjusts the difficulty level in its video games based on the player’s skill and overall gameplay experience.

It happens all too often (at least for this writer). After dominating against another team in FIFA for, say, the first 85 minutes, many times the opposing team will all of a sudden gain a second wind or some crazy kind of inspiration, only to start defending and scoring their way to a comeback of epic proportions, making the final minutes frustrating with a seed of doubt planted not only making me believe that the game just doesn’t want me to win, but also primed to hurl my controller across the room at the adjacent wall.

Of course, there is also the flipside in which I am losing, but all of a sudden start coming back in a dramatic fashion to win the game at the final second and revving me up to start playing my next match right away.

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It has always seemed that these types of rigged situations exist in EA’s games, from FIFA to Madden. However, according to a statement released by EA Sports on the FIFA Community Forum, that is not the case - for FIFA, at least.

Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA) "is a technique for adaptively changing a game to make it easier or harder" based on a player’s gameplay as a way to increase engagement while preventing in-game experiences that may leave the player frustrated or bored enough to quit playing the game.

Players have accused games like FIFA for having some kind of rigged, predetermined algorithm for years, but an official statement was not issued until just recently.

“We’ve heard your concerns around the Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment patent family (here and here), and wanted to confirm it’s not used in EA SPORTS FIFA,” states the forum post. “We would never use it to advantage or disadvantage any group of players against another in any of our games. The technology was designed to explore how we might help players that are having difficulty in a certain area of a game have an opportunity to advance.”

Why did such a statement take so long to be issued? Apparently, EA Sports wasn’t even sure as to whether or not the DDA system was in FIFA:

In theory, DDA is used in games that allow player-controlled characters to gain an advantage in skills to help them overcome obstacles, such as jumping higher, running faster, or shooting and aiming with improved accuracy. While the statement from EA Sports is all well and good, it’s a bit difficult to take it seriously enough to believe that it doesn’t also exist in EA’s catalog of sports games.

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