EA is a well-renowned industry behemoth known for producing some of the best IPs in the gaming industry. The company has lately been experimenting with integrating AI into the core game mechanics, as per various published patents. The latest patent explores a quite controversial system that may potentially incur a backlash.
Electronic Arts has published a patent dubbed “DETECTING COLLUSION IN ONLINE GAMES,” which proposes a system to detect whether players of opposing teams are teaming up. The patent will ensure no players from rival groups end up collaborating together to gain any overwhelming advantages over the games.
The players conspiring with the rival teams secretly will be detected and eventually penalized. Various punishments are discussed that may be enforced, possibly depending on severity.
- EA has published a patent that proposes a system to punish players that collaborate with opposing teams to gain unfair advantages.
- The proposed method will analyze the social and in-game relationships, players’ histories, and players’ in-game interactions using algorithms to conclude if any unfair collaboration is detected.
- The patent discusses various punishments for players indulging in colluding, including reward reduction or no rewards, removal from the match, suspension, and getting banned.
- The system may be utilized in Electronic Arts‘ multiplayer FPS or battle royale games that often experience this issue.
The patent defines colluding as a situation in which “two or more players, teams, groups or other entities that are intended to be opponents or to otherwise oppose one another collaborate, cooperate, act in concert or the like to contribute to a common cause, usually with the intention of gaining an unfair advantage over other entities.”
The articulated method will track players’ potentially private info to distinguish between collusion and non-collusion players during game sessions. The cheating players will be penalized accordingly. EA will utilize AI and various algorithms to automate the mechanic, so it runs in the back end without needing any manual assistance.
The patent will calculate various factors, including in-game and social relationships, during in-game sessions to assure no teaming up of players with opposing teams is taking place. It “may analyze social relationships and communications and/or gameplay behavioral data to infer collusion in-games.”
The in-game data could include players’ various information that they may want to keep private. The patent mentions tracking data and relationships of suspected players, including “friends, guild memberships, group memberships, party memberships, team memberships and community memberships.”
The social interactions that could be tracked include “in-game chat, lobby chat or other game platform or system chat; gaming platform or system enabled direct messaging; friends list; guild, group or community messaging; guild, group, or community membership.”
EA also elaborates on tracking players’ histories to ensure no unfair collaborations take place. The patent notes, “player’s teammate and opponent relationships in the current and past matches in the current and/or different games,” will be analyzed.
The histories of suspected players will be calculated to check how often they have played together. EA clarifies, “This information may include histories regarding how many matches the players have been on the same team and/or the other players present on the team in those matches.”
The proposed system will be able to tell how much the players collaborating with the rival teams play and interact together. It gives various gameplay examples, including discussing battle royale and the traditional FPS genre.
After it is thoroughly concluded that the rival players are working together, then hefty punishments will ensue. The patent mentions various quite worrisome penalties, including outright banning the players. The system may cause players to be “removed from the match, disqualified from rewards, suspended, banned and so on.”
Additionally, EA may not impose punishments on players before conducting a manual review, as it lists possibly using a human reviewer before levying final judgment. The patent articulates, “Such actions may be automatic or following a human or algorithmic review of the output of the anomaly detection algorithm.”
If EA’s proposed system is integrated into its upcoming multiplayer FPS games, then we may see more serious and tactical matches. The team play will be solidified, and it may become impossible for team members to betray their own teams. The patent, while highly effective, may end up draining the fun out of FPS games entirely.
In other words, it will become impossible to have a fun interaction with enemies during online matches, and no devious schemes will be possible. Regardless, it is an innovative method to ensure no players are cheating and ruining the game for everyone, so the community might tolerate the integration of collusion detection.
We may see the patent used in EA’s current games like Battlefield 2042, Apex Legends, and the like. However, it makes more sense for the company to incorporate the collusion detection method in its upcoming multiplayer FPS games. Furthermore, we may not see it used at all for half a decade, at least since it is just a patent right now.
Electronic Arts has patented some outlandish ideas that integrate AI to automate the core mechanics of games. Some of the innovative ideas include automating in-game challenges based on real-life events, generating in-game content using players’ behavior, and creating multiplayer maps using players’ single-player objectives.
What are your thoughts about EA patenting the idea to punish players and potentially banning them from teaming up with opposing players? Do you think it’s a good idea for developers to pursue, or would it drain all the fun out of FPS games? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below.
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