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News video games 09 December 2021, 21:13

Sony Patents Road Bulding Mechanic From Death Stranding

Sony has patented the road-building mechanic similar to that used in Death Stranding. This means that if any studio wants to use this type of solution in their game, they will have to obtain permission from the Japanese company.

Did you like the road and bridge building mechanics used in Death Stranding? Sony apparently did - so much so that the Japanese company decided to patent a similar solution so that the competition could not use it without permission.

The relevant application was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on July 31, 2019, which is just over three months before Death Stranding's PlayStation 4 exclusive launch on November 8. It was only approved the day before yesterday.

Sony Patents Road Bulding Mechanic From Death Stranding - picture #1
Source: patft.uspto.gov.

The patent is described as "Terrain radar and gradual building of a route in a virtual environment of a video game". From the description, it seems that it's not just about creating structures that other players can later use, but also them improving depending on how popular they are with the community.

Sony's obtaining a patent for this mechanic means that if any studio wants to implement a similar solution in their game, they will have to get permission from the Japanese company. Is this fair? Mike Bithell, the dev of such titles as Thomas Was Alone and John Wick Hex, would certainly disagree; he has already criticized a similar move by another company - Warner Bros. which reserved the rights to the Nemesis system known from titles like Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

It should be noted, however, that not all corporations act like this. A counter-example is Microsoft, which in August, this year made available five technologies facilitating the interaction with digital entertainment for players with various disorders for free.

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

A sociologist by education, a gamer by passion. His adventure with gaming began at the age of four – with the Famicom clone. Currently, he prefers PC and challenging RPGs, but doesn't shy away from consoles or other genres. He has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined Gamepressure five years later – although he has known the website ever since he had access to the Internet – to combine his love of writing and games. He mainly deals with news and editorials. When he's not playing or writing, he's happiest reading, watching TV shows (less often movies) and Premier League matches, listening to heavy music, and walking his dog. He loves Stephen King's works almost unconditionally. He has not abandoned plans to follow in his footsteps. However, he keeps his first "literary achievements" locked away deep in a drawer.

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