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News video games 31 January 2021, 18:58

author: Bart Swiatek

Here's Why Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis System Wasn't Used in Other Games

It turns out that the Nemesis system used in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War in 2015 were patented by Warner Bros.


  1. The Nemesis system from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War was patented by Warner Bros;
  2. Which is probably why so few companies are experimenting with similar solutions.

Have you ever wondered why the excellent Nemesis system from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War didn't appear in other games? Youtuber from the Game Maker's Toolkit channel managed to find an explanation of this mystery. It turns out that in 2015 Warner Bros. patented the technology.

The so-called Nemesis System is a mechanic that makes enemies remember previous interactions with the player's character, and gives enemies various characteristic features. Thanks to this, an ordinary, typical orc encountered at the beginning of the game can with time become a real nightmare, harassing the protagonist at every step (hence the name of the technology - Nemesis). Enemies also fight among themselves for domination within an elaborate hierarchy.

It's worth noting that patenting game mechanics is nothing unusual - other companies have done it in the past (e.g. BioWare or Rockstar Games). The patent does not mean that other titles can't use similar solutions, although their implementation may require some tight roping form the developers - ideas too similar to mechanic used in Monolith Productions' series may expose the devs to a lawsuit. Nevertheless, some companies are experimenting with such ideas - VG24/7 editors mention, for example, the mercenary system from Assassin's Creed: Odyssey.

We can only hope that developers will not stop looking for ways to make the antagonists of their games more interesting and memorable.

  1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - game guide
  2. Middle-earth: Shadow of War - game guide
  3. Middle-earth: Shadow of War - official website