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PlayStation wants to charge spectators to kick players out of multiplayer games

A new PlayStation patent describes what may be the worst idea to hit gaming since loot boxes and day one patches.

You better strap yourself in for this one, because it’s not going to make a lick of sense. Although because it’s just a patent that does mean there’s a good chance it’s not going to happen – hopefully.

The patent in question is called ‘Spectators Vote to Bench Players in a Video Game’ and pretty much does what it says on the tin, allowing anyone who’s watching an online match to vote to have a player removed or send them a ‘custom message’.

As mind-bogglingly as bad idea as that sounds, considering how the average gamer conducts themselves online, the patent goes a step further by suggesting that spectators be allowed to pay, either in a lump sum or between several people, to have a player removed from a game.

It’s hard to believe that anyone at Sony could possibly have thought this was a good idea given how obviously open to abuse it is. In fact, the whole thing seems to have been designed specifically to encourage online abuse.

The patent specifically mentions Twitch and esports, which is not something Sony has traditionally had much to do with, although they did recently buy the Evo fighting game tournament and have hinted at plans to release more first party multiplayer exclusives instead of just single-player games.

Supposedly spectators would be weighted so that some opinions are given more credence than others, it’s implied based on how well they’ve played before and whether they’ve ever been kicked out themselves.

The whole idea behind the patent seems like a disaster waiting to happen, although the one benefit of Sony patenting the idea – which ordinarily would seem unfair for such a basic concept – is that no one else can no use it.

Let’s just hope Sony doesn’t either…

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