Warner Bros. Is Trying To Patent Middle-Earth Nemesis System
Video game technology has rapidly evolved quickly throughout the medium’s history, and that has been especially true of the most recent generation of gaming. While hardware has been the most apparent, companies have also made technical innovations within their software, with new gameplay features and systems. One such highly-praised from the last generation was the Middle-Earth Nemesis system first introduced in Shadow of Mordor. Well, now it seems that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is looking to patent this particular game mechanic.
As reported by Eurogamer, Warner Bros. is apparently trying to patent the Nemesis system seen in the Middle-Earth games Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War. According to the patent, Warner Bros. first filed for the Middle-Earth Nemesis system in March 2016, legally referring to it as “Nemesis characters, nemesis forts, social vendettas and followers in computer games.” The US Patent and Trademark Office rejected the filing in November 2019, but it seems that WB’s persistence may have won in the end, as the Patent and Trademark Office voted to issue the patent last October.
The system, heavily explained in the above YouTube video by Game Maker’s Toolkit, recognizes the player’s narrative choices and utilizes it to impact how the game’s orc enemies interact with the player, both in action and in lines of dialogue. For instance, orc enemies can run away after the player has cut off their limbs and re-encounter the player later on in the game with prosthetic limbs and vengeful dialogue quips. Some enemy characters can even rise in the ranks of the enemy army and act as a sort of rival parallel-narrative that mirror’s the player’s own progress.
if you take someone’s design and make a better version of it, you should be given a trophy and a triumph through the streets and the people who made the previous version should applaud you and say, “wow that was really cool.”
— Josh Sawyer (@jesawyer) January 29, 2021
Warner Bros. is expected to use the system in other WB property games, such as DC Comics or Harry Potter games, while others have criticized the patent’s authorization. Josh Sawyer of Obsidian seems to have implied on Twitter that gameplay mechanics should not be patented, calling this particular authorization a “load of s***.” Hopefully, Warner Bros. isn’t overly protective of the nemesis system, as ones like it could be brilliantly suited for other franchises. Who wouldn’t want a nemesis system in a Star Wars game and have a Gungan bounty hunter taunting you at every turn?
What do you guys think about Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment seeking to patent the Middle-Earth Nemesis system? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to stay tuned for the latest Lord of the Rings news, such as The Lord of the Rings: Gollum game being confirmed for the Nintendo Switch, here on Don’t Feed the Gamers! Follow us on Twitter to see our updates the minute they go live!
Cory Lara1724 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.