Sony’s Patent to Boost Engagement in Esports Audiences: A Game Changer?

Sony’s Patent to Boost Engagement in Esports Audiences: A Game Changer?

25. December 2023 by Valentin Pasetti

In 2023, the focus on audience engagement in esports has been a hot topic. Sony, stepping into the esports arena, has patented a system that could revolutionize how viewers interact with live esports events.

Sony’s Innovative Approach to Esports

Sony’s recent patent, titled “Triggering Virtual Help or Hindrance Based on Audience Participation Tiers,” introduces a system allowing viewers to influence esports matches directly. This concept aims to boost engagement by letting spectators support their favorite team or hinder the opposition based on specific actions and audience participation.

The Patent’s Core Idea

  • Audience Interaction: Spectators can interact with live matches, either aiding their team or impeding their rivals.
  • Conditional Benefits: Teams can gain advantages like ammo boosts or receive hindrances based on audience actions and contributions.

How Would Sony’s System Work?

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The patent outlines a tiered system of audience participation:

  1. Level 1: Basic support actions, like cheering, can grant minor team benefits.
  2. Level 2: More significant actions, such as sharing the event stream, can trigger substantial boosts like increased ammunition.
  3. Level 3: Large-scale audience involvement, like scanning a QR code, could lead to significant game changes, such as reducing an opponent’s life.

The Concerns and Challenges

  • Vagueness: The patent documentation is broad and not tied to any specific game or genre.
  • Potential for Abuse: The system could be exploited through bot usage or other means, disrupting the fair play.

Will This Patent Materialize in Esports?

While the concept of deepening audience engagement is commendable, there are valid concerns:

  • Feasibility: Implementing such a system in competitive esports might disrupt the balance and integrity of the games.
  • Historical Precedence: Sony is known for filing patents that often don’t materialize. Their history includes unique but unrealized controller designs.

A Thought-Provoking Concept

Sony’s patent presents an intriguing idea for increasing engagement in esports, but its practical application remains doubtful. It raises critical questions about the balance between audience interaction and maintaining competitive fairness.