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Sony Patents The Path-Building Mechanic From Death Stranding

It looks like Sony Interactive Entertainment and PlayStation have successfully patented the path-building mechanic featured in Death Stranding. If you’ve played Death Stranding before, it’s the mechanic where you could help other players from around the world by perhaps building a bridge, leaving ladders for them to use or even putting signs up.

The patent (via GameSpot) was apparently filed four months before the game originally released on the PS4 back in November 2019. However, it was only recently approved and granted on 7 December 2021. The patent is officially named “terrain radar and gradual building of a route in a virtual environment of a video game”.

In the summary of the patent, it mentions the mechanic as a “method for influencing a gaming world of a video game”. This includes improving the first path based on the number of times the first path has been traversed by one or more characters. However, interestingly, the patent doesn’t mention Death Stranding by name.

The biggest impact of this patent is that other developers won’t be able to feature similar mechanics in their games without potentially getting sued or blocked by Sony. There’s a precedent for this. Recently, it was revealed that the reason why we haven’t seen the Nemesis system from Middle-Earth Shadow Of Mordor is because Warner Bros. Interactive managed to patent the mechanic.

 

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