My Love: After 5 Years Warner Bros. managed to patent the Nemesis system from the Middle-earth series

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Last updated on December 8th, 2022 at 02:48 pm

My Love: After 5 Years Warner Bros. managed to patent the Nemesis system from the Middle-earth series

An important feature of the games Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the Nemesis system, which procedurally creates unique orc captains and story events to which they advance in the hierarchy. As expected, after 5 years of efforts, Warner Bros. managed to patent this system. Sometimes it’s easier to develop technology than to patent it.

Middle Earth
Middle Earth

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice on February 3, 2021, that the patent will go into effect on February 23, 2021, with the option of retaining until 2035. As we reported last week, Warner Bros. has been trying to get approval for this patent since March 2016, although the first mentions date back to March 2015. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor from Monolith Productions was released in September 2014.

The patent was titled “Nemesis Characters, Nemesis Fortresses, Social Revenge and Computer Gaming Supporters” and is now reserved for Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. The site’s current status is listed as a pending review but will soon change to reflect recent approval.

The USPTO issued a final waiver back in November 2019. But Warner Bros. did not back down, and in October 2020, a formal notice of acceptance of the patent application was made. This indicated that the company was able to overcome the rejections, and the USPTO began to believe that the invention met the patent requirements.

The Nemesis patent has sparked controversy over the legality and correctness of Warner Bros. “This is really awful, especially for a series that has built its brilliant Nemesis system with a whole bunch of mechanics borrowed from other games,” Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell tweeted. –  Like all games. Because this is how culture and creativity work. Be a good neighbor, WB . “

Because I had to dig into a little bit: a patent is not copyright, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they will enforce it or sue anyone for infringement,” Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail tweeted. ” They just took a step to guarantee themselves the possibility of such actions, and that in itself is enough for me to hate such a step

“Funny to tears – what the fuck, ” Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer tweeted last week. ” If you take someone’s design and make the best version of it, you need to be rewarded and praised, and the people who created the previous version should applaud and say,” Wow, that was really cool. “

Wouldn’t the patent’s existence prevent other developers from building their own Nemesis-style systems over the years? Tweets from designer and writer Cat Manning suggest this is possible: “I looked at the patent, and it is so broad it seems absurd! I’ve seen and worked on many other narrative systems that could be described with the text in the patent! It probably won’t be legally binding, but the other indie developers and I don’t have the funds to risk getting sued! I have no interest in copying exactly the Nemesis system! Personally, I would make several changes, implement something differently. But the patent comprehensive, and worries that this license prohibits ANY such work! “

However, many developers and publishers have received patents for mechanics from video games over the years. BioWare, for example, has a patent on the Mass Effect dialogue wheel. Sega once held the patent for the Crazy Taxi compass needle, but it expired in 2018. Nintendo currently owns the sanity system patent from Eternal Darkness.

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