Blizzard seeks patent for Play of the Game algorithm from Overwatch

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Blizzard wants a patent on the so-called Play of the Game functionality at the end of a round in the game Overwatch. The American developer has been waiting for more than a year and a half for the granting of the patent, which concerns an algorithm for showing replays.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has not yet granted the patent, but Blizzard’s filing was recently announced. Play of the Game stands for a feature at the end of a round in Overwatch, where an algorithm in combination with the game server automatically shows a replay video of the funniest or best plays during the last round.

The system works on the basis of an algorithm that goes through the event log of the round and assigns scores to a multitude of actions and events. Each score represents a particular category of performance. The game server selects a Play of the Game category and determines the highest score within that category, after which the server sends instructions to the game clients. A replay video is then shown showing all the events corresponding to the high score within the selected category.

Well-known subcategories such as shutdown, sharpshooter and life saver are described in the patent, as well as the option to share the Play of the Game on social media. Also, according to the patent application, the function can be extended to other game genres.

The question is whether this patent is unique enough for assignment and whether it is enough to prevent other game makers from showing the highlights of a game round in a similar way. Blizzard may want to protect the precise operation of the algorithm in combination with the game server and the specific scoring system with the associated terms and names.

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