EA recent­ly filed a patent appli­ca­tion that reveals the com­pa­ny has devel­oped a series of adap­tive sys­tems that adjusts a game’s dif­fi­cul­ty to your skill lev­el. This sys­tem’s pri­ma­ry design is to keep users play­ing a game for a long as possible.

This patent was filed back in Octo­ber 2020, and was made pub­lic back in late March. The sys­tems auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjust the dif­fi­cul­ty set­ting of a game based on the play­er’s skill lev­el and the desired dura­tion of a game ses­sion. The sys­tems men­tioned in the appli­ca­tion sep­a­rate play­ers into “users clus­ters” (based on 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 is noth­ing new in video games, though they are rel­a­tive­ly rare. Some notable exam­ples of these sys­tems include Left 4 Dead and God Hand. How­ev­er, there are many games where this dif­fi­cul­ty sys­tem is hid­den from the play­er, like in the case of Res­i­dent Evil 4.