Blizzard seeks patent for ‘play of the game’ system in ‘Overwatch’

Blizzard launched Overwatch in 2016 with a “play of the game” system that gives participants in a multiplayer match a chance to see the greatest moment from their last game. It’s a neat system that generally shows a ridiculous multi-kill or clutch moment, and Blizzard values it so much that it seeks to patent it.

Blizzard first filed its “play of the game” patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in December 2016, and it was published on the office’s website June 14. Contrary to reports by several other outlets, Blizzard has not been granted a patent for the technology yet, and the status of the application hasn’t changed since March 2017.

Claims in the application include the system Blizzard uses to choose “a particular play category from the plurality of play categories based on a top aggregated score.” In other words, Blizzard assigns hidden scores to different actions, and these are then ranked in order to determine the clip players see at the conclusion of the match. The application also makes mention of editing software used to modify video clips showing plays of the game in action, such as inserting an intro reel or slowing down time — this is possible with the in-game Overwatch video editor, and gives players an easy way to share their top plays with friends.

The application spells out the possible events that can trigger a play of the game. These include causing damage or healing an ally, saving an ally from death, preventing an objective from being captured, or being airborne while accomplishing a task. Not mentioned in the description are actually capturing objectives yourself, so you might want to focus on shooting enemies if you want to see yourself in the spotlight — of course, your team is also likely to lose if you avoid playing the objective entirely.

Regardless of whether or not Blizzard is granted all or part of its patent, we are unlikely to see this occur for at least a few years. In the meantime, we’ll almost certainly see Blizzard challenged by other developers trying to implement similar systems.

Overwatch is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Seth Rogen sets Twitter ablaze with secret ‘Duck Hunt’ trick

Actor and comedian Seth Rogen let Twitter users in on a little secret about the classic Nintendo game Duck Hunt. If you remember playing it back in the '80s, you might want to sit down.
Movies & TV

'Venom' is all tooth and tongue in the latest movie posters

Tom Hardy will play the lead role in Sony Pictures' Venom. Here's everything we know about the solo feature for the popular Spider-Man spinoff character ahead of the film's 2018 premiere in theaters.
Gaming

Battle your demons on the go when ‘Diablo III’ hits Switch this November

Blizzard's acclaimed action-RPG Diablo III will release for Nintendo Switch on November 2. The game includes both local and online cooperative play as well as Switch-exclusive cosmetic items.
Gaming

‘Seasons Simulator’ throws snow and mud at celebrities in ‘Forza Horizon 4’

Forza Horizon 4 releases early next month -- and even earlier if you bought the Ultimate Edition, and you can watch celebrities play it as they brave the elements on Mixer today, September 12.
Gaming

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’: Everything you need to know

Ubisoft will release Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October for consoles and PC. Here is everything you need to know about the next chapter of Assassin's Creed, including the story and setting.
Gaming

‘Pokémon Go’ could be a game for everyone — but it isn’t there yet

Recent content and feature updates for Pokémon Go have brought it closer to being a game for everyone, but will Niantic be able to tackle the game's most glaring issues before the launch of Pokémon: Let's Go?
Computing

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Gaming

You're not a true Nintendo fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Mobile

OnePlus’ ‘Crackables’ includes puzzles in both the digital and physical worlds

OnePlus and Google teamed up on a new puzzle game that exists in both the physical and digital worlds, and will lead to a winner getting the "ultimate gaming setup." The game comes a few months before the expected release of the OnePlus 6T.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: When it happens and where to find the best deals

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Gaming

Get a Double Helix set and 1000 V-Bucks with Nintendo Switch’s ‘Fortnite’ bundle

A new Nintendo Switch bundle launching in October includes free in-game V-Bucks currency for Fortnite, as well as additional digital goodies. The game supports crossplay with most other systems.
Gaming

Chug some booze and belt out battle songs in 'The Bard's Tale 4'

From the same developers behind Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2, comes a long-awaited sequel to a classic RPG/dungeon crawler series. Fans can get The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep starting today for PC on Steam.
Gaming

Annual game releases are boring. Try a quirky indie game for the PS4 instead

While big budget games rely on practical innovation, indie games dive head first into new, unexplored territories. If the quirky and unusual appeal to you, take a look at our list of the best indie games on PS4.