Overwatch's Play of the Game system has not been patented (yet) | PCGamesN

Overwatch's Play of the Game system has not been patented (yet)

Overwatch Symmetra

Update, June 26: Blizzard has not yet been awarded a patent for Overwatch's Play of the Game system.

Blizzard has filed a patent for their ‘Play of the Game’ system. The patent, which was first filed back in 2016, was published by the US patent office earlier this month. It has not, as we reported earlier, been granted, as the office is yet to review the application.

The abstract for the patent, which was filed on December 9, 2016, describes the system, and says that “a game server records events that occur within a match of a video game played using a plurality of game clients. After the match has concluded, the game server scores the events according to a plurality of criteria corresponding a plurality of play of the game categories.” “The game server then selects a play of the game category and determines the top aggregated score for the category.”

With such excellent PotGs out there, it's no surprise that Overwatch makes it onto our list of the best FPS games on PC.

The patent, which you can view in its entirety here (via Unikrn) is pretty broad. Not only does it cover the Play of the Game selection process, but also the means by which the results of the system can be shared socially.

However, according to Dot Esports, the patent does not cover the concept of a Play of the Game system, which means that other developers could still make highlight features. They'd just have to find new ways to create them. It could be several years before the patent is fully reviewed.

The patent makes no reference to the reworked Play of the Game system that Blizzard are working on. Given the patent, however, it’s likely that any development will be included.

GOTW
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Masem avatarAli Jones avatar
Masem Avatar
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3 Weeks ago

Actually, all this is the patent application, it has not been granted yet.

With how the US Patent office works, Blizzard did file their application in 2016, but it takes about a year and some change for that to be checked for all the basic filing fees, etc. before it is published. The patent is still being examined, which nowadays can be anywhere from 2 to 4 years if not longer.

Blizzard can't bring any patent-infringement charges to anyone at this time, but this means that if other companies wanted to patent their "play of the game" system, they'd have to face this as prior art, regardless if it does get awarded a patent or not.

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Ali Jones Avatar
30
3 Weeks ago

Thanks for pointing this out - we've updated the story to reflect those points.

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