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Activision patents "exploratory" microtransaction system

18 October, 2017, 14:55 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • Activision is using unfair matchmaking to trick you into buying microtransactions

Some games have managed to get it right, while others have fallen flat and drawn criticism for it. Activision has become the latest example of this, as the publisher recently patented a new matchmaking system created to make players want to spend more money on microtransactions.

If the player does then purchase a microtransaction item, the game may even put them into games with weaker players or a scenario which makes good use of the item so they can wreck shop and feel more powerful.

Patent 9,789,406 was approved on October 17th, 2017, with the title of 'System and method for driving microtransactions in multiplayer video games, ' and can be found right here. "In this manner, microtransaction engine 128 may leverage the matchmaking abilities described herein to influence purchase decisions for game-related purchases". "In this manner, the junior player may be encouraged to make game-related purchases such as a rifle or other item used by the highly skilled sniper". Doing so may enhance a level of enjoyment by the player for the game-related purchase, which may encourage future purchases.

The system can also drop players into matches that will make use of an in-game-related purchase, according to the patent. Activision it self-released a statement saying that it is just a patent and was never implemented in any of their games. This may encourage the player to make future purchases to achieve similar gameplay results.

For those who don't know, the matchmaking system in question pairs players together in a way that it would promote in-game buying. Rolling Stone has reached out to Activision to check which games are using this system now, but based on the info we have so far, it might not be a stretch to say that Call of Duty is the #1 culprit when it comes to the matchmaking "tricks". "In other words, a match score may indicate a predicted level of satisfaction of players that are placed in a potential match". In some instances, the system may progressively lower the threshold match score as the player continues to wait to be matched until the player is eventually matched.

In a particular example, the junior player may wish to become an expert sniper in a game (e.g., as determined from the player profile).

The system is created to get players to spend money and time in a game to unlock an item. Destiny is a good example (although as confirmed by Bungie's David Dague on Twitter that this system is not in Destiny) as players will often strive to acquire a gun through quests or gameplay like the Gjallarhorn rocket launcher. If you were hoping to see this practice go away, we doubt that will happen.

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