Electronic Arts Files A Patent For Matchmaking System Based On Player Retention

Electronic Arts Files A Patent For Matchmaking System Based On Player Retention
Credit: EA via YouTube

The woes of matchmaking are a near-universal plight of developers attempting to ensure that players are playing against others that match their skill-levels. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however, and it’s everything beneath that peak that can result in a frustrating time for users. Some users are prone to rage-quitting matches well before they’ve ended, balancing should occur between players that are willing to invest in a plethora of microtransactions and those more comfortable with the main game, and that’s before you even begin to encroach on the territory of toxicity and intra-social behaviors that occur during moments of heated competition.

Which PewDiePie famously notated as a ‘heated gamer moment’.

The proper balancing of matchmaking holds with it a plethora of theories and idea about best common practices, and even ways to get players to invest further into a games micro-economy, or in-game microtransactions.

Electronic Arts have just filed a patent with matchmaking at its forefront, and it’s an interesting idea that seems like it could encourage in-game retention by basing its matchmaking qualifications on current retention rates of the players that you’re matched with. It’s all a bit obtuse if not outright esoteric in form, and the entirety of the patent is almost impossible to read with any clear conclusion on what they’re precisely going to be employing this system for, or exactly how it will work.

Further, it’s a patent; other gaming companies won’t be able to utilize this form of matchmaking without paying Electronic Arts hefty legal fees.

Granted, Electronic Arts matchmaking desperately needs a bit of a boost if Battlefield 5 is anything to go off of, although it’s similarly likely that they’ll be using this on their sport games such as the recent Madden 20 (which is on PC after a seemingly-infinite hiatus) and FIFA 20, which is best known for scripted events occurring that their players have no control over.

The commonly accepted theory behind this matchmaking patent is that it will help stymie the number of rage-quits that occur on their competitive titles, matching those who are prone to leave before a loss with others whose internet ‘just happens to cut out’ moments before a game is called. It seems as though they’ll likely develop a death-spiral for those prone to quitting, as they’re matched with players who are also more likely to quit when a match isn’t going their way. It seems likely at the moment, which we should note is before a comprehensive analysis of the patent has been completed, that those who fail to stay in matches are simply going to have a horrible time in the near future with EA games.