Activision Patents Microtransaction-Based Matchmaking



Full patent page here: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9789406.PN.&OS=PN/9789406&RS=PN/9789406

After receiving loads of emails about this, I woke up ready to give this patent a good going over.

While patents never guarantee -life implementation, they can be reflective of a business, and boy does this one – a matchmaking system based on selling microtransactions to players – hold up one hell of a mirror.

20 Comments:

  1. Sooo, let’s say I wear the spoken of hat, and I actually do make a new player buy that hat…. I just made money for Activision, right? I mean that is what the system does. Shouldn’t I get paid, too?

  2. I think I’m going to pass on every AAA release this season. Time to pirate instead.

  3. I’ve been saying this a lot, but seriously, it’s like these companies are TRYING to cause another game industry crash.

  4. “the system may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player.”
    Oh great, now i know for a fact the matchmaking will fuck me over and intentionally put me in unfair matches to make me buy lootboxes.
    Fuck you Activision and everything you stand for.

  5. Coming very soon: pay an extra $40 on top of the “gold” edition game to not have to deal with the microtransaction features. “We know many players love in-game purchases” says the press release , “but for those few players who don’t like them so much, we now offer the choice of playing the game without these features. This is because we are a company that listens to feedback from our audience and will always be ready to offer new products that suit their needs”

  6. This makes me feel gross.

  7. And here I thought EA shutting down Visceral would be the scummiest bit of news coming out of the games industry I’d hear this week. Way to blow away my expectations there ASStivision!

  8. This patent is about Destiny. Bet they submitted this patent because they’re already doing it in D2

  9. Leaving aside the toxicity of microtransactions, Activision’s method fails the non-obviousness requirement under US patent law.

  10. If they should ever implement stuff like this it will backfire i say. Most people i know would stop playing as soon as it is gear > skill and they keep loosing due to the matchmaking. Unbelievable that those people let suits and calculator slingers make the design decisions without noticing that fair and high quality devs produce absolute blockbusters while those scheme first playability second games trail behind and lead to mediocre sales and closing studios

  11. I thought there was a ruling that said that software patents are not something you can enforce.

  12. I’d rather pay €5 more for a game and skip the micro transactions.

  13. activision deserves all the bad things that will ever happen to it. but i am glad they’re monopolizing it so that we don’t have to see other companies try this shit.

  14. Just how, how do they manage to keep inventing new ways to be arseholes?

  15. Game companies are competing with each other not to create the best product but to make the most absurd scam and still get away with it.

  16. Whats with the ads all of a sudden?

  17. I mean even putting aside how vile this us how can such a generic idea be patentable? The idea of manipulation like this has been around since scumbags have existed. People have always used the idea of they have something great now don’t you want that great thing? That’s why car adverts don’t have traffic and parking issues just clear roads and beautiful scenery.

  18. Seems like they want to legalize and own a system that will data mine it’s players then apply the analytics towards predatory capitalism. Where is the line drawn? When is enough fucking good enough? I haven’t bought a console since the PS3 release, and haven’t bought a new game in over 2 years. It’s this kind of shit that continues to deter me from the market, and the many “would be” fantastic products. It’s incredibly saddening. Video games were essentially my babysitter growing up (also sad but for other reasons), and to see publishers and executives continue to ruin one of the largest entertainment industries to maximize profits is just….. fuck man…. I place a lot of blame on our lack of oversight of mergers and acquisitions. Activision’s a perfect example. Think about Blizzard and their practices before Activision-Blizzard, and then after. The same can be said for so many other companies. A good team making great games, then a merger happens… like Squaresoft remember them? They made good games. Of course games now are also “mostly” fantastic, but the Creation of super conglomerates in the gaming industry means they dictate the market. They hold all the loot cards, and i would argue that any competition between the large companies is artificial. What can be done about this? I have no fucking clue, but I think it at least deserves note. Mergers and acquisitions left unchecked will gut any industry, and the gaming industry is looking pretty cavernous now.

  19. holy shit. “look, you lost cause that douchebag had an advantage. Pay now for that same advantage, and you can be a douchebag too!” Gaming taken to the next level.

  20. Generic Internetter

    Irony: Advert for Assassin’s Creed before the video started.
    WAIT A MINUTE!!! I thought Jim’s videos were unmonetized… unless Ubisoft jumped in and monetized it???

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