The “Let’s Play” aspect of the gaming industry has only become bigger and bigger. There’s not just a growing number of people who live streaming their gaming activities on sites like Twitch and YouTube, but there’s also an even larger group that just like to watch these gamers play live.
Game publishers have been trying to see how they could monetize people who watch “Let’s Play”streams. A newly discovered patent filed by Activision proposed such a plan. The patent, posted on the Patentscope site, (via Exputer and IdleSloth) was first filed by the game publisher (now owned by Microsoft) in July 2023, but was only published earlier this month.
In the patent application, Activision notes that, for the most part, people who watch live streams of games are mostly passive viewers. It states:
There has yet to be disclosed systems and methods for actually integrating, effecting or modifying video game play concurrent with a separate video stream or broadcast video. More specifically, there is a need to contextually integrate video games being concurrently experienced with a video stream.
The patent application also offers an example of how such a system could be created with a image showing a possible user interface, The post states:
The user may opt to engage with the recommended game by clicking the option to accept the recommendation. If the user decides to accept the recommendation then, the user clicks on a ‘play’ button on the second screen In response, the user is enabled to play the online interactive multimedia game on second screen. In embodiments, the online interactive multimedia game is presented to the user within an interactive interface on the user’s client device.
We will point out that the filing of a patent by Activision does not mean that this kind of a feature is in active development at the publisher. Patents are filed all the time by major tech and gaming companies that end up not being used, or they are incorporated into other products.
We will also point out that Microsoft attempted to put in more interactive elements for game stream watches in its now shut down Mixer streaming app. That included ways for viewers to add in new challenges for game streamers, along with other more interactive elements.