That has actually never happened in the 7 years considering that, however, and it’s because the publisher has actually successfully patented the mechanic in question. News of this broke over the previous week, but after multiple not successful attempts, the US Patent and Trademark Office will allow the patent to stand starting 23rd February 2021. The patent covers: “Nemesis characters, nemesis forts, social vendettas and fans in computer games”. BioWare holds the patent for the RPG’s particular discussion wheel, but that hasn’t stopped games from utilizing branching dialogue options since then.
The Nemesis system, established by Warner Bros titles Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its sequel, is a feature the gaming community has constantly desired other designers to use because its beginning in 2014. That has actually never ever taken place in the 7 years considering that, however, and it’s because the publisher has really effectively patented the mechanic in question. News of this broke over the previous week, but after multiple unsuccessful efforts, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will allow the patent to stand starting 23rd February 2021. Warner Bros can pick to keep it through until the year 2035.
The patent covers: “Nemesis characters, nemesis forts, social vendettas and fans in video game”. Efficiently, another designer can not copy the Nemesis system like for like. This can be navigated by producing your own take on the feature and dressing it up with your own phrases and terms– the discussion wheel in Mass Effect is one famous example. BioWare holds the patent for the RPG’s particular discussion wheel, but that hasn’t stopped video games from using branching discussion options ever since. It’s everything about how you provide it. However, the action taken by Warner Bros to patent the mechanic still doesn’t set a particularly positive precedent.
John Wick Hex and Volume creator Mike Bithell took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter, stating: “This is truly gross, specifically for a franchise that developed its fantastic bane system on top of an entire load of mechanics replicated from other video games. As all video games do. Since that’s how culture and creativity works. Be a better next-door neighbor, WB.” Meanwhile, Sony Santa Monica staff member Alanah Pearce shared her own ideas in the video embedded above. The basic video gaming community hasn’t taken too kindly to the actions of Warner Bros either, with some concerned that patenting gameplay could stimulate a worrying trend from other companies.
There are methods of navigating patents, however when there’s such a large obstruction currently blocking some of your paths, this might deter smaller indie groups from even attempting to create something of their own in the very first place. How do you react to this? Share your ideas in the comments below.