A little over a month ago, it had been brought to my attention that the topic of dynamic difficulty was making a few waves in big names. This is interesting to me, largely because it deals directly with my thesis which as some may know... is on Dynamic Difficulty. My take on dynamic difficulty is less about returning gamers and more about a system that detects stress and acts upon it. What Cliff Bleszinski is suggesting is a way to help players that get dissuaded by more difficult games when they have not engaged in them over a period of time.
Since Cliff wants to get this into the Gears of War franchise, this could mean that we're on the cusp of being ready for these types of systems. Where my proposed system is more for larger scale multiplayer environments, Cliff's general idea may work exceedingly well for the single player scope. The concept of difficulty has long needed some solid hits into a direction beyond "is Easy, Medium, Hard enough" and "Should I change anything other than enemy damage and player damage to make it harder". Getting the attention of large developers, such as Epic, will hopefully open the gates for more robust or specialized ideas and push the limits of the gamers (or lower the limits to keep them in, depending on the player).