Activision wins a patent for a matchmaking method that incentivizes the purchase of microtransactions

Activision wins a patent for a matchmaking method that incentivizes the purchase of microtransactions

Activision wins a patent for a matchmaking method that incentivizes the purchase of microtransactions

On October 17th, the game’s publisher Activision was awarded a patent that the studio filed in 2015, detailing a matchmaking system that is designed to spread the seeds of envy amongst players and make them covet the gear used by higher ranking players. This system is designed to make people want to purchase microtransactions within a game, allowing the game to generate additional revenue. 

Activision has clarified that this technology is not present in any of the studio’s games, with Bungie’s community manager DeeJ clarifying that the technology isn’t used in Destiny 2. An Activision spokesperson has told PCGAMER that “This was an exploratory patent filed in 2015 by an R&D team working independently from our game studios. It has not been implemented in-game”. This does, however, prove that Activision has R&D teams that research how to incentivise the purchase of Microtransactions in their games.   

Below is a small excerpt from the patent, detailing what this matchmaking system does in basic terms, placing junior players with senior players to encourage them to purchase microtransactions to emulate that player’s in-game gear/loadout.  
 

  A system and method is provided that drives microtransactions in multiplayer video games. The system may include a microtransaction arrange matches to influence game-related purchases. For instance, 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. A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player.

With this patent dating from back in 2015, it is clear that this system was not designed with Destiny 2 or Call of Duty: WWII in mind, with it being unlikely that such a system would be implemented in these games anytime soon. However, this news comes at a time where many gamers have become resentful of in-game microtransactions and loot-boxes, making this patent come at a terrible time for Activision.   

 

Activision wins a patent for a matchmaking method that incentivizes the purchase of microtransactions  

The patent details several methods that a matchmaking system can be used to draw players towards microtransactions, like a system where players are sent into games with players that are using an item they don’t own or a system where players have individual profiles that detail their playstyles and then assign them to matches with highly skilled players of the same style (both are snipers for example) that use a weapon that they don’t own.

This patent details a system that goes against the very purpose of fair matchmaking, intentionally placing players in matches where they are designed to lose, or with placed with players with prettier gear to incentivize the use of in-game microtransactions. Simply put this system is ruthless and places profit above players.

Right now there is no evidence that Activision has any plans to implement this system into any of their games, as patenting a technology does not dictate that it ever needs to be used. There have been many unused patents over the years and there is no reason why this can’t be one of them. The only reason to implement such a system is greed alone, as it adds nothing of value to gamers.  

You can join the discussion on Activision’s patented microtransaction-driven matchmaking system on the OC3D Forums.