Video game

Warner Bros. filed a patent for the Mordor games' nemesis system – PC Gamer

As pointed out by Mark Brown in his latest Game Maker’s Toolkit video, Warner Bros. Interactive have applied for a patent on the nemesis system used in Shadow of Mordor and its sequel, Shadow of War—the system that personalizes orc NPCs in response to actions players take against them. Specifically, it’s a patent for “Nemesis characters, nemesis forts, social vendettas and followers in computer games”. Brown compares it to the patented floating arrow that told players where to go in Crazy Taxi, which was part of the lawsuit Sega filed against Fox Interactive in 2003, after The Simpsons: Road Rage used the same mechanic. (The suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.)

However, other games have used mechanics similar to the nemesis system since it was established in Shadow of Mordor. Warframe, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Path of Exile’s Betrayal expansion, and the War of the Chosen expansion for XCOM 2, for instance. Perhaps that’s because the nemesis patent is currently listed as “Pending”, though a look at the timeline of legal events shows that after being rejected in 2019, it was re-examined in 2020 and then progressed to the “notice of allowance” stage—meaning that if the paperwork and fees are filed in time, a final patent will be issued.


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