Global gaming giant Activision has recently picked up a patent that will allow them to pair up players that they believe will influence the other to pony up.
In case you needed more proof that we are indeed living in the darkest timeline, Activision has just been awarded a patent that will allow them to implement a system which will pair players in a manner which will increase their chances of making a microtransaction purchase.
The idea may seem convoluted at first, but it’s brutally simply – and efficient. In short, the system would pair up players who have made in-game purchases (or grinded out the progression themselves) to flaunt their shiny toy guns in the faces of rookies – in the hopes that the newer players will give in to the impulse to make the purchase.
If that seems like an exaggeration to you, consider the following excerpt straight out of the documentation for the system:
“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.” – Activision Documentation
There’s nothing inherently new about this. MMOs have relied on this formula for years on end. The concept has been the impetus for many a would-be adventurer to go spelunking in the depths of a dungeons since they first laid their eyes upon a fiery sword in a capital city and said “I want that.”
The upsetting, and potentially dangerous, occurs when a company becomes so blatant about their desire to change how a game functions in order to secure additional revenue streams. With the loot box fiasco reaching a fever pitch, Activision may have picked the wrong time to try to push their new system.
Now is the time to sit back, relax, and grab the popcorn as the meltdown ensues.