EA Accused Of ‘Adjusting Game Difficulty To Encourage Loot Box Sales’

EA has been hit with another class action lawsuit, and this time is being accused of “adjusting game difficulty to encourage the sale of loot boxes.”

As first reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the lawsuit is being filed in the US District Court of Northern California with EA being accused of “secretly adjusting” its ‘patented’ Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment technology to encourage players to purchase Ultimate Team packs in the FIFA, NHL and Madden series.

Money next to EA logo
Credit: Unsplash/EA

The lawsuit claims that “EA’s undisclosed use of Difficulty Adjusting Mechanisms deprives gamers who purchase Player Packs of the benefit of their bargains because EA’s Difficulty Adjusting Mechanisms.”

It adds: “rather than only the stated ranking of the gamers’ Ultimate Team players and the gamers’ relative skill, dictates, or at least highly influences the outcome of the match.”

Fifa 20 art
Credit: EA

The lawsuit also claims that the patented Dynamic Difficulty adjusts to “make gamers believe their teams are less skilled than they actually are, leading them to purchase additional Player Packs in hopes of receiving better players and being more competitive.

Naturally EA is denying the claims made against them as reflected in a statement released last year.

 “We would never use it to advantage or disadvantage any group of players against another in any of our games,” said EA at the time.

EA Logo
Credit: EA

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.

In fairness, dynamic difficulty is nothing new as it’s been around for years. For example Resident Evil 4 which released in 2005 has a difficulty that adjusts in-game based upon how the player is performing.

Responding to the latest class action lawsuit an EA spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz: “We believe the claims are baseless and misrepresent our games, and we will defend.

Image of computer screen
Credit: Pixabay

A term used by the industry as “Whales” is a mobile game tactic to adjust difficulty and in-game rewards to entice players to spend real-money.

Back in October it was reported that EA was facing two lawsuits against its loot box mechanics, one originating from Canada and the other from Netherlands.

What are your feelings on the latest lawsuit claim against EA? Could the claims that EA is adjusting game difficulty to sell loot boxes be valid in your opinion? Let us know by reacting to our Emoji’s below.

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Featured Image Credit: EA/Unsplash