EA Loot Box Lawsuit Dropped After Company Gives Plaintiffs Tech Access

The class action lawsuit against EA over the use of its patented Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment technology has been dismissed. In a statement, the publisher said the plaintiffs had dropped the case after the company agreed to grant them access to technical information and its engineers.

In the lawsuit, EA was accused of using Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment, which employs AI to adjust game difficulty while playing, to encourage gamers to purchase loot boxes. EA denied the allegations, stating that the technology is in place to keep players from becoming frustrated with game challenges.

The plaintiffs, however, asserted that the technology was being used to induce players to buy Player Packs in FIFA, Madden and NHL’s Ultimate Team modes, adding that the AI was denying high stat players from exceling. EA, which reviewed the technical information and consulted with engineers, decided that DDA in Ultimate Team modes was not being exploited.

“While EA does own a patent for DDA technology, that technology never was in FIFA, Madden or NHL, and never will be,” the company stated. “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.”

The company still has two class action lawsuits pending, one in the US and one in Canada, in which the plaintiffs claim that randomized monetization mechanic in its games violates gambling laws. Former Former EA Sports Chief Competition Officer Peter Moore recently maintained that FIFA Ultimate Team was “a long way” from gambling.

“This is a personal view, but the concept of surprise and delight vs gambling… on a continuum, they’re a long way from each other. You buy or grind your way up to getting a gold pack, you open it up, and you’re either happy or you think it’s a crappy pack. I don’t see that as gambling, per se — but again, this is my personal view as an outsider right now,” he told GamesIndustry.biz.

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