Sony Wants eSports Spectators To Participate And Help Their Team

eSports could become a highly fun endeavor even for spectators.

Story Highlights

  • A Sony patent wants eSports spectators to actively participate in events via activities to help their teams.
  • Having more spectators in a team could turn the tide for an eSports Team, and other activities could as well.
  • It also secured a patent to educate eSports spectators during the livestreams for more engagement and interest. 

Sony’s interest has massively grown in professional gaming scenes like eSports, showing a bunch of interest and investing millions of dollars. It has also filed many unique patents to alter the standard eSports landscape for spectators and foes alike. A patent published by Sony wants spectators to actively participate in events by performing many activities to help their respective teams and potentially turn the tide.

The patent dubbed “TRIGGERING VIRTUAL HELP OR HINDRANCE BASED ON THIRD-PARTY AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION” wants to increase the engagement of players by allowing them to participate in activities that can either help their teams or hinder the enemy teams during online matches. Viewers could cheer their team or even spawn helpful items and influence other elements that can be advantageous for their team.

The present disclosure generally relates to systems and methods to for encouraging spectator participation by permitting audience participation to provide different types of in-game help or hindrance to eSport players or teams when certain tiers or thresholds of spectator engagement are reached.”

Sony clarifies that having more spectators would allow them to engage in more activities to help their team or equally hinder the opponents. Reaching a specific number of viewers or participation would allow them to spawn “a helpful object, power-up, or other in-game advantage.” Similarly, spectators could also decide to give the enemy team “a harmful item, loss of an object, or other in-game hindrance.”

The image shows group participation activities by spectators in an event.
The image shows group participation activities by spectators in an event.

The legal doc argues that eSports can currently be bland for spectators and have not seen any significant innovations to engage viewers for a long time. Additionally, spectators watching the competition may feel left out by not having the ability to help out and offer any assistance to their team.

Spectators watching the event remotely may feel that they are unable to affect the players and outcomes in the same manner as those watching in person. There is, therefore, a need to provide a more dynamic and engaging experience for spectators to participate and impact the eSports event.”

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Another patent published by the giant conglomerate dubbed “ESPORTS SPECTATOR ONBOARDING” wants to provide various onboarding and education activities to eSports spectators. The legal doc seeks to ensure that the viewers —especially newcomers and casuals in the community— can keep up with the in-game moments and slang without feeling left out. These onboarding activities could be modified to keep up with each competition.

The present system relates to educating and onboarding spectators of electronic sports (eSports) events. The onboarding activities are used to further engage the spectators with the eSports event in general, as well as the game played during the eSports event.”

The figure shows an onboarding activity as displayed to an eSports spectator.
The figure shows an onboarding activity as displayed to an eSports spectator.

Sony states that eSports events have amassed millions of users over the years. However, the overall community is still closed off from most gamers because of its unique atmosphere. Both the patents, if put into practice, would transform the eSports landscape and make it easier for gamers to pour into the competitive gaming community.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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