Electronic Arts is the subject of a class-action complaint concerning EA's "Player Packs" (think loot boxes, where the "loot" is a particular sports player) in connection with dynamic difficultly mechanisms employed in EA Sport's Ultimate Team Mode games. The three named plaintiffs allege that EA, unbeknownst to users, employs dynamic difficulty mechanisms to increase the difficulty of a game to force users to purchase Player Packs in order to progress in the game. The plaintiffs allege that this combination of dynamic difficultly mechanisms and Player Packs constitute deceptive, unfair, and illegal conduct on behalf of EA that deprive a user's "benefit of the bargain" in purchasing the game and Player Packs.
It should be noted, however, that in the complaint the plaintiffs acknowledge that dynamic difficulty mechanisms both increase and decrease the difficulty of the game. That is to say, the underlying purpose of dynamic difficultly mechanisms is to increase user engagement, extend gameplay, and thereby increase user enjoyment. It may be hard to succeed on a complaint that admits that the complained-of action increases enjoyment.
Nonetheless, this is yet another example that loot boxes, and technologies used in tangent with loot boxes, continue to be a hot topic and the subject of legal review.
"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."