Recently, Activision was granted a patent that opens up new ways in which they can influence players to make in-game purchases. Though it was filed back in 2015, it was only this week that the patent was granted.
The patent abstract goes into a bit more detail.
“The system may include a microtransaction arrange matches to influence game-related purchases. For instance, the system may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player. A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player.”
By the sounds of things, Activision will develop a system that pairs experienced, kitted-out players with new players. The idea is for the newer player to see the other player winning or performing better, planting the idea that he or she can get better by making those same in-game purchases.
Activision did respond to Game Informer’s request for comment, elaborating on what this patent actually is. A spokesperson said “This was an exploratory patent filed in 2015 by an R&D team working independently from our game studios. It has not been implemented in-game.”
So while it’s not in the wild, it’s perhaps a look at where things could head in future.