Activision’s Controversial Microtransactions-Encouraging Matchmaking System Has Not Been Implemented, Publisher Confirmed

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Oct 18, 2017
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There has been a lot of talk lately regarding microtransactions and loot boxes, with most gamers not having a very good opinion of them, especially when they’re implemented in full-priced games. Recently, an Activision matchmaking patent for a system which encourages players to purchase more microtransactions has been unearthed, but it seems like this has never been implemented.

A few hours ago, Activision itself sent a statement to Charlie Intel, confirming that the 2015 patent, which has been filed by an R&D team working outside the publisher’s game studios, has never been implemented in any game.

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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.

The Activision 2015 patent definitely sounded fishy, as it would pair players with more skilled ones to encourage them to spend money in microtransactions.

For example, in one implementation, the system may include a microtransaction engine that arranges matches to influence game-related purchases. For instance, the microtransaction engine 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.

This system could also match a player without an item obtainable only through microtransactions with another who has it.

Microtransaction engine 128 may analyze various items used by marquee players and, if at least one of the items is currently being offered for sale (with or without a promotion), match the marquee player with another player (e.g., a junior player) that does not use or own the item. Similarly, microtransaction engine 128 may identify items offered for sale, identify marquee players that use or possess those items, and match the marquee players with other players who do not use or possess those items. In this manner, microtransaction engine 128 may leverage the matchmaking abilities described herein to influence purchase decisions for game-related purchases.

If you’re curious about the whole system, you can check out the patent yourself by going here.

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