Warner Bros have been trying to patent the Nemesis System that featured in their Middle-Earth games.
The Nemesis system, developed by Monolith Productions for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was well received for its ability to track player’s in-game actions, such as their victories and defeats at the hands of the game’s various procedurally generated Orcs.
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These Orcs would remember the player’s actions, and work their way up a complex hierarchy of other Orcs, taunting and challenging the player, as well as gaining special abilities to make them tougher to defeat.
The video by Game Maker’s Toolkit on YouTube goes into great detail on the mechanic in the game, and how it is able to forge stories for the player.
The brings up WB’s attempts to patent the system, and links to a lawsuit filed in 2016, which attempts to patent “Methods for managing non-player characters and power centers in a computer game are based on character hierarchies and individualized correspondences between each character’s traits or rank and events that involve other non-player characters or objects.”
GooglePatents also list the various events surrounding the patent, including its assignment to Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. in 2019, and its current “pending” status, meaning it may yet be assigned.
In July 2020, WCCFTech reported on the rumour that the next Batman game in development by Warners Bros. Montreal may well feature the Nemesis system.
Around the same time, The Escapist reported on the rumours surrounding the upcoming Harry Potter game that was announced later in the year. The rumours specifically stated that the RPG like game would also feature a Nemesis-like system.