New Sony patent has players paying to kick others from games

Could be a controversial way to spend your money

Sony has had a patent approved for a feature that allows players to pay to kick others from games.

As spotted by VGC, the patent is called ‘Spectators Vote to Bench Players in a Video Game’. It was filed in January 2020 and was granted two days ago (October 19 2021).

The feature means that spectators can vote to remove (or ‘bench’) players. They can also warn them to play better via messages. The patent even makes it possible to pay to have out of favour players removed.

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The patent describes a situation in which spectators are watching a game via Twitch. From there, they are given access to a menu that lets them vote to remove a player.

An accompanying diagram shows four options to choose from: ‘remove player from game’, ‘warn player to improve’, ‘provide custom message’ or ‘keep in game’. As with all votes, the highest tally wins. If a player is sufficiently disliked by spectators, they may have a problem on their hands.

PS5
PlayStation 5. Credit: Sony

The Sony patent explains that “the method can also include animating the removal of the player and providing visual cues to other players or spectators as to why the player was removed from the video game”.

It even goes so far as to suggest that a spectator’s skill level within the game could change how much sway their vote has.

Being able to pay to remove someone with real money or in-game currency is also an option too.

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Obviously, as a newly approved patent, there’s no news yet on when or if the system will be implemented in future games. Not all patents become reality.

In other gaming news, an update to Metroid Dread has fixed a game-crashing progression bug.

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