New Activision patent envisions drawing player performance data from public blockchains

Game publishing giant Activision has scored a patent for aggregating player data that highlights the use of public blockchains to gather such information.

The patent, first filed in 2018, was awarded on September 8. It contains language that evokes some of the core arguments of blockchain-enabled gaming — namely, the portability of information (in-game items in particular) from one game to another.

To be sure, the patent itself doesn't plainly outline whether Activision has any serious plans for making use of blockchain tech. But to date, Activision hasn't made any public forays into this area — as such, the patent offers a new (if not incomplete) window into its thinking in this area.

The mention of blockchain comes in a section on "Ranking of Players." As noted in one example: "a user who plays several first person shooter (FPS games), the present system generates an aggregate universal ranking reflecting the player's performance in all of the FPS games played by that player."

In one possible arrangement, data drawn from public blockchains is used to compile that ranking. As the patent document notes:

"In embodiments, a player's performance or game play data is accessed from the game servers 105, 106 (FIG. 1), game system APIs of third party card games that allow such data to be accessed, and/or by scraping websites of developers or public blockchain records. The system of the present specification scans websites and/or public blockchain records for specific phrases and data sets, copies the data and imports or enters the data into the database systems of the present specification."

This performance ranking could then be used for match-making purposes, linking together players of similar skill and play history for game sessions.

The patent's authors go on to note that the distributed nature of blockchains "is suitable for storing match and game data for a large number of players who play a variety of games," adding: "In one embodiment, the system of the present specification applies data scraping techniques to blockchain storage, to extract game data for processing and normalization."

The Activision patent can be found here.