Sony Patent Aims To Change Game Difficulty In Real Time As You Play

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Sony recently published a patent that describes an innovative technology that would amend the difficulty in a game in real time, adapting to the player’s abilities on the fly. It’s not a concept that’s completely unheard of in gaming, but Sony’s patent speaks of enhancing or making more elegant what already exists.

Tailored To You

It’s the ‘Adaptive Difficulty Calibration For Skills-Based Activities In Virtual Environments’, and it uses graceful algorithms to assess how a user is playing and dealing with certain mechanics, elements, and circumstances. It will then adjust the difficulty by making those elements harder or easier to handle to encourage the player to stay engaged for longer, avoiding frustration or a feeling that a game is just too easy.

Instead of picking a traditional difficulty setting, the algorithms detailed in the patent would be dynamic, offering every player a tailored experience that’s best suited to them. It would make it almost impossible for an outsider to gauge how difficult a game is before they buy it, as it would ultimately be different for everyone.

Sony’s patent documentation references a string of parameters that would be impacted by this technology, including character strength, enemy spawn rates, enemy skill, and movement speed.

Again, it’s not unheard of and it could be aligned quite closely with SBMM or ‘EOMM’.

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that you were never supposed to be a pacifist in Fallout

  1. The patent behind this sounds exactly like the ‘AI’ learning/difficulty behind a small indie game called M.A.V.( The AI in that game continually learns from player data, ‘absorbs’ player techniques, strategies, builds, and applies it to the gameplay.

    So as players play more, and more players start to play, the bot playstyle/difficulty evolves through the collection of player data.

    As there are already games out there using this formula, it would be interesting to see how such a patent could affect the industry a la the loading screen game patent.

  2. I would only be ok with this if there is always an option to prevent it from ever lowering the difficulty. Imagine playing a fromsoftware game, dying to a boss 8 or 9 times, so the game starts making it easier each time until you beat it. That would feel like cheating to me and it would kill the sense of accomplishment that comes from beating something that at first seemed unbeatable. I love playing almost every game at the hardest difficulty, even if that means dying a lot. I dont want the game to take pity on me when really im just trying to master the game at the hardest level lol.

    Now if I could use this system to make sure that the game is always extremely difficult, to avoid the problem most games have where you end up practically invincible by the end of the game, then I would be all over that.

  3. I truly hate auto adjusting difficulty. Truly just Fuck off with all your accessibility bullshit.

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