It was alleged that Electronic Arts uses its patented Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DD) tool to trick players into buying more packs and spending money. A class-action lawsuit was filed against them in November 2020.
The plaintiffs claimed that EA uses the DDA to weaken the player’s in-game statistics so that the player wants to upgrade the team and end up buying more packs to get a better player.
The lawsuit claimed: “This is a self-perpetuating cycle that benefits EA to the detriment of EA Sports gamers, since Difficulty Adjusting Mechanisms 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.”
But, today the lawsuit has been dropped after EA allowed the plaintiffs “detailed technical information and access to speak with our engineers.”
EA said in a statement: “Ensuring play is fair is critical to all of us at EA, and we’ve tried to be as clear as possible that this commitment applies to us just as much as it does to our players. We’ve publicly said before that we do not use any scripting or ‘Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment’ (DDA) or anything similar that would automatically adjust the difficulty of gameplay in FIFA, Madden and NHL Ultimate Team matches.”
“Our clear statements were recently challenged in a lawsuit that alleged we did, in fact, use DDA in Ultimate Team modes. We’re pleased to share that the plaintiffs have now dismissed their case. We provided them with detailed technical information and access to speak with our engineers, all of which confirmed (again) that there is no DDA or scripting in Ultimate Team modes. This is the right result.”
“While EA does own a patent for DDA technology, that technology never was in FIFA, Madden or NHL, and never will be. We would not use DDA technology to give players an advantage or disadvantage in online multiplayer modes in any of our games and we absolutely do not have it in FIFA, Madden or NHL.”
“EA and the FIFA, Madden and NHL teams remain committed to fair play.”
So EA has been cleared of all the allegations and it seems they believe in fair play as well and there are no such systems in place to deliberately weaken a player’s abilities.
You can have a look at the full patent that EA holds on “Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment“.