From the Mass Effect dialogue wheel to Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis System, here are 9

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When it comes to safeguarding and protecting ideas, and inventions, developers and publishers will sometimes go that extra mile by taking out patents. As you might already know, developers can file patents to gain sole rights to a new innovation or creation, and protect it from being for a certain amount of time by competitors. It could be anything from a new feature in a game, something that’s been developed for hardware, or an original element of gameplay. Once a patent file request has been approved, others can’t create or use the same feature or replicate it without the owner’s permission. There are now a number of video game patents out there right now that may well surprise you. 

Just recently, for example, EA patented the Ping System in Apex Legends and made the patent freely available to developers as part of its Accessibility Patent Pledge. Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system is also another recent patent to come to light, but there’s certainly no shortage of other examples. After all, throughout the years, the world of video games has had a pretty long – and often unusual – history of patented features and systems. With more recent patents to ones that were filed many years ago and have since expired, there are many out there… and some may make you raise the odd eyebrow. 


The Ping system

Apex Legends Ping System

(Image credit: EA)

EA took out a patent on the much-lauded Ping System in Apex Legends. Patents tend to be used by companies to protect innovations, but in this instance, EA has patented the system as part of its Accessibility Patent Pledge – an initiative that opens up accessibility-led patents to developers in a bid to encourage collaboration and drive forward accessibility in the video game industry. The Ping system allows you to communicate with your teammates in Respawn’s battle royale hero shooter by marking points of interest, calling out the location of an enemy, and much more. As well as reducing in-game toxicity by offering an effective alternative to speaking over voice chat, the Ping system also helps players with cognitive, speaking, and hearing disabilities. 

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Read More:From the Mass Effect dialogue wheel to Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis System, here are 9