Sony May Add NPCs Who Will Find Bored Players In-Game And Cheer Them Up

Now optimistic NPCs could help brighten up your playthrough whenever you're down.

Story Highlights

  • A new Sony patent wants to add cheerful NPCs who find bored players to make them happy.
  • It was published in an attempt to stop gamers from growing bored of titles after some time passes.
  • It will record players’ moods first using methods to decide whether they need support from an NPC.

The gaming industry is ever-evolving, and Sony is playing a major role in it. It has secured a lot of enticing patents over the years, after all. Now, a new patent published by the company wants to tackle the issue of games becoming boring over time. It wants to add NPCs who would be cheerful and optimistic in their behavior and track bored groups of gamers to engage with them. The goal is to make them immersed in the game again. 

The legal doc dubbed “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MODIFYING USER SENTIMENT FOR PLAYING A GAME” wants to alter the emotions of players. It could send an optimistic NPC that joins your group to accompany you on your quests if you are growing bored of them. Or, Sony could send a cute puppy running your way as soon as you started yawning, sighing, or feeling exhausted from the gameplay. 

The NPC extends emotional contagion techniques to influence the mood of the group. For example, the NPC influences the mood of a few users in the group, and remaining users in the group are influenced by emotional contagion from the few users,” reads the patent.

The new Sony patent will determine whether a player is bored by studying its facial features and more.
The new Sony patent will determine whether a player is bored by studying its facial features and more.

The new system by Sony will detect whether a user is bored by gauging “biometric signals, facial tracking features, and voice, etc.” The patent argues that gamers can easily grow bored of titles that they are used to playing. Devs can add new content or make unique changes to keep players immersed, but even that gets tiresome for many. So, it wants to change that by using NPCs to have a positive effect on the users’ playthroughs.

People spend hours and weekends enjoying these games for years. Also, with time, these games add features to keep the players interested. However, over time, many players seem to lose interest in a video game and switch to another video game.”

In an ideal scenario, the NPC would make a single player happy, and the joy would then spread to the whole group of players, leading to “emotional contagion.” An example discussed in the patent talks about an NPC joining a group of players who got bored from a quest. It could accompany the users and make it a fun journey for them by conversing with them or using other methods.

The in-game NPCs could be humans or cute animals like a dog.
The in-game NPCs could be humans or cute animals like dogs.

Sony is renowned in the gaming industry for bringing quite a unique bunch of patents. It has also previously secured a legal document for a massive co-op entry that supports hundreds of players in a theater. Additionally, a patent to add the ability to change the art style of existing games was also published a while ago. 

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Source
Patentscope

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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