Thumbs Down For This Sega Game Monetization Patent

By Todd Russell Jul27,2023

Not sure any gamer is going to like the proposed (?) Sega patent described in this MSN article: Sega Patent Could Spell Bad News for Gamers

A Sega patent could spell bad news for gamers, as the patent hints at plans to introduce a prioritization system in games where paying more money gives them better treatment. More specifically, Sega’s patent describes a system that encourages a player that has spent a significant amount of money in one game to play another game by giving them preferential treatment. Examples of preferential treatment include quicker HP recovery, higher drop rates for rare items, and even access to additional content.

Because I tend not to believe everything I read online, especially articles that fail to prominently display a link to the source material, some internet sleuthing was required. Here’s what my search results led me to: https://patents.justia.com/patent/20230084802 (summary of patent is pictured below)

Am not an expert in reviewing patent filings, but if you read through the details, you’ll see the linked article that started this post is a reasonable summary. Moving onto my opinion about the practice, assuming it ever is used in a game.

Look, I’m all for game companies making money the traditional way: selling good games. Am cool with charging for DLC and additional playable content. Heck, selling the graphic/digital assets. Yeah, am even starting to come to grips with the subscription model of essentially renting games, assuming the library is varied and has fun games. Loot boxes, pay to win schemes, crypto, these are all very controversial and it’s sort of game by game for outrage on these monetization schemes.

But what’s described in the article? Better treatement in games as a patent for Sega? Um, no. Firstly, I don’t really care that much for patents involving game ideas and this one, although more specific, is not one where I’m a big fan. What do you think?

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