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EA Sports Facing Lawsuit For The Infamous ‘Match Scripting’ in FIFA

It appears that EA Sports can simply not catch a break lately. After numerous lawsuits this year, mainly pertaining to FUT Packs and FIFA Points, EA have a fresh new class-action lawsuit filed against them in USA but this time, it’s regarding their controversial “match scripting” technology.

Filed in the US District Court of Northern California, the suit has plaintiffs Jason Zajonc, Danyael Williams, and Pranko Lozano accusing EA of using its patented Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment technology in three of its EA Sports franchises; Madden NFL, FIFA, and NHL. The plaintiffs argue that the “Momentum” feature, as stated by EA, is, in fact, a dynamic difficulty system which can easily confuse a player and make them doubt their own skill level and their team.

“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, 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,” reads a selection from the lawsuit. “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.” The plaintiffs say that EA’s actions violate the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, and qualify as unjust enrichment.

For a very long time, FIFA players have noticed matches completely turning in their favour or even against them based on the scoreline. Called ‘match scripting’ by players, it feels like a written sequence of code that automatically changes the difficulty level of the AI, based on how the player is playing. If a player is struggling to create chances in-game, the AI is often seen to get a little relaxed and if a player begins to dominate the AI, the opponent teams suddenly turn up a few gears and start obliterating the player. This can be seen throughout all game modes in FIFA as well as Madden and NFL. But the most worrisome issues arise when it appears in Ultimate Team.

Players spend a lot of time, and money, investing in their teams to compete in the best way possible. When they face the match scripting scenarios, it can often make them feel lacking and that their team is still not good enough. This further causes them to spend more to get more FUT Packs and better players and the never-ending cycle continues, leading to the promotion of loot boxes and more importantly, misleading the players about their capabilities and the lack of transparency. This conundrum prevents the players from playing at their highest level and forcing them to resort to buy packs in order to build a better squad.

EA have categorically denied in the past of any existence of the Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment system in FIFA titles and claim that they only patented the technology to better understand how a player can be helped to perform better in a game. They didn’t explicitly deny its involvement in other game titles though, leaving a lot of questions to be asked. This comes within weeks of the Netherlands also taking legal action against EA. With respect to this latest lawsuit, EA’s statement said, “We believe the claims are baseless and misrepresent our games, and we will defend.” More to follow.

About Rudra Mehta

Content Writer for FIFA Infinity. Culé in love with FC Barcelona since 2007. Avid Career Mode player and a Football Manager enthusiast.