Blizzard Is Trying To Patent Overwatch Play Of The Game Feature

At the end of each Overwatch match, players are shown a short clip titled 'play of the game' which highlights the best play during the match. The few seconds captured are usually pivotal moments in a match that swung the round in one team's favor.

The Play of the Game feature has proven to be very successful, with players often sharing their accomplishments online. It seems Blizzard is also very pleased with this new feature, but is not quite so keen on sharing it with the industry. It turns out Blizzard filed a patent application back in 2016 titled 'Play of the Game'.

The Anatomy of a Play of the Game

The application was first published on the official US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) website this month and is currently labeled as 'docketed new case, ready for examination.' Hopefully there will be enough publicity and push back against Blizzard that this patent application fails. The general community sentiment following the PUBG lawsuit against Fortnite shows that gamers would rather see companies focus on game design than duke it out in legal battles.

Blizzard's patent seems to be for a very specific method of capturing the gameplay then later presenting it to multiple clients at once. Below is the abstract of the patent disclosure:

In an approach, 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. A sliding window is passed over the events in a number of increments. During each increment, the score for each event that falls within the sliding window is aggregated for each of the categories. The game server then selects a play of the game category and determines the top aggregated score for that category. Once determined, the game server sends one or more instructions to the game clients which causes the game clients to display a replay of the events that occurred during the time window increment corresponding to the top aggregated score for the selected category.

Check out the full patent application yourself at the official USPTO website by searching for application number 15/374,523.

Further Reading: Gamasutra Post

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office