Activision seeks to drive microtransactions further in the gaming experience. Described in the patent as a part of the Video Game Stream system, the consumer-targeted hotspots will pop up during in gameplay broadcasting (allegedly, during playbacks), featuring a prompt with either virtual or physical commodities that are available for purchase. Furthermore, the application states that “the system may either automatically cause a purchase of a corresponding item (e.g., by looking up pre-stored financial account information of the viewer or virtual currency account information of the viewer) or cause a transaction interface to be presented to the viewer, which allows the user to input (financial or virtual) account information.”
It is not specified on what grounds the system would withdraw funds or in-game currency automatically and how the authentication procedure will be carried out. The application doesn’t look into whether and how the stream casters benefit from this microtransactions-based native advertisement either.
As implied by Activision, this VGS system provides a clearer gameplay annotation, specifies the in-game events and creates an enriched broadcasting experience on both ends. For streamers and commentators, it means a greater editing capacity (i.e. playbacks with graphic overlays, different camera angles and so on), whereas the audience is promised to get a more specific navigation, including cameras positioning, top commentators, featured in-game content and etc. However, the prime focus as indicated by the patent’s headline for Activision is driving microtransactions in.
The patent was submitted Oct. 21, 2015, and has not been introduced in any of Activision’s games on the market yet. Now that the patent has been granted to the publisher, it provokes further concerns emerged after another microtransactions-related patent filed by Activision and discovered earlier this October. As Twinfinite reported, the latter would encourage microtransasctions through matchmaking junior players with more experienced ones to incentivize in-game purchases to even the odds in PvP.