Electronic Arts to Get Rid of Fair Matchmaking in Multiplayer Games



/ 9 months ago

Electronic Arts

EA to use dynamic difficulty adjustments.

Word is that Activision is planning to implement a special new matchmaking system. The system in question would pair certain players together in order to encourage microtransactions. Fortunately, no game relies on such a system right now. However, EA has decided to go with a rather similar approach. Electronic Arts is currently tinkering with dynamic difficulty adjustments. These adjustments can dynamically change a game’s difficulty in order to “improve player engagement.” According to EA, the company has already implemented such as system and saw a 9% improvement in player engagement. Apparently, this did not affect monetization in any way.

EA

“In this paper, we propose a DDA framework with a global optimization objective of maximizing a player’s engagement throughout the entire game. Using level-based games as our example, we model a player’s progression as a probabilistic graph. Dynamic difficulty reduces to optimizing transition probabilities to maximize a player’s stay time in the progression graph.”

Regarding fair matchmaking.

While the dynamic difficulty adjustments pose some problems on their own, EA wants to get rid of fair matchmaking as well. The publisher thinks that a new system, more anchored in reality, would improve player engagement even more.

“In this paper, we propose an Engagement Optimized Matchmaking (EOMM) framework that maximizes overall player engagement. We prove that equal-skill based matchmaking is a special case of EOMM on a highly simplified assumption that rarely holds in reality. Our simulation on real data from a popular game made by Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) supports our theoretical results, showing significant improvement in enhancing player engagement compared to existing matchmaking methods.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if EA will actually install such a system in the future. What do you think about the publisher’s recent research papers?

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