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FIFA Lawsuit Accusing EA of Secretly Adjusting Ultimate Team Withdrawn

A lawsuit accusing EA of manipulating Ultimate Team matches has been dismissed.
A lawsuit accusing EA of manipulating Ultimate Team matches has been dismissed. | Photo courtesy of EA

The class-action lawsuit claiming Electronic Arts was secretly adjusting the difficulty of FIFA Ultimate Team in an attempt to trick players into spending more money on packs has been withdrawn.

The suit began in November when three Californians claimed EA was manipulating them using artificial intelligence technology it had patented called dynamic difficulty adjustment. That technology is known among FIFA players as scripting or momentum and is used to unfairly alter the results of matches to encourage those players to spend more on packs.

EA admits to owning the patent, but has long denied its use in Ultimate Team. It now says the plaintiffs in the suit have dismissed their suit after the company shared detailed technical information on FIFA and offered them to speak to its engineers.

"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," EA said in a statement. "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."

"While EA does own a patent for DDA technology, that technology never was in FIFA, Madden or NHL, and never will be."

Many FIFA players have long maintained EA manipulates the game's difficulty, making it easier to win when players are losing and easier to lose when players are winning. They cite errors on the part of the player characters in-game as evidence of EA's match fixing. Wednesday's suit dismissal provides more evidence that EA is telling the truth when it denies using DDA in Ultimate Team.