Activision Working On Real-Time Spectator Participation In Games

Activision Publishing may be working on a system that allows people who are not actively playing a multiplayer video game to participate as spectators and influence what happens in the video game in real-time, according to a recent patent.

Source: Activision Blizzard


  • Activision Publishing’s recently published patent, filed in June 2023, introduces a system allowing spectators to actively participate in multiplayer video game sessions by influencing in-game events in real-time.
  • Spectators, individuals directly observing the gameplay from within the video game itself, can access a menu of options on their devices to select their desired in-game perspective, including top-down, first-person, or lateral views.
  • The system assigns varying levels of influence to spectators’ selections based on factors such as their gameplay experience, accomplishments, rankings, and history of attending live gaming events or supporting specific teams.
  • The patent also incorporates geographical location data of spectators, potentially offering location-based rewards, making the place from which spectators view the video game impact the rewards they receive.
  • Overall, this patent aims to enhance the spectator experience within video games, making it more interactive and engaging for both players and viewers by allowing spectators to actively shape the course of gameplay events.

Today, we encountered a newly released patent by Activision Publishing, titled “Systems and Methods for Enabling Remote Viewers to Participate in a Multi-Player Video Game Play Session,” filed in June 2023 under the ownership of Activision Publishing, Inc.

Flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of incorporating spectator inputs into gameplay. | Source: Patent Public Search

The recently published patent, which became available just a few days ago, outlines a system that enables individuals who are not actively engaged in playing a multiplayer video game (referred to as spectators) to join in as observers and exert real-time influence on the video game’s events.

“The present specification describes systems and methods that enable non-players to participate as spectators in online video games and, through a collective voting mechanism, determine the occurrence of certain events or contents of the gameplay in real time. Game event options are generated and presented to non-players,” reads the patent’s abstract.

“A specific one of the game event options is then selected based on a collective vote of the non-players. Once selected, the specific one or more of the game event options are then generated as actual gaming events and incorporated into a video game stream that is transmitted to the players as part of the gameplay session. In this manner, non-players may be able to directly affect the course of gameplay.”

Changing the Spectator Experience:

In simple terms, Activision Publishing aims to make watching video games more engaging by allowing spectators to influence what happens in the video game they’re watching, creating a more interactive and exciting experience for both players and spectators.

It’s important to note that in this context, the term “spectators” specifically pertains to individuals who are directly observing the gameplay from within the video game, rather than being viewers of a live stream on an external platform. These spectators typically watch the ongoing multiplayer gaming session within the video game itself and possess the capability to impact or modify in-game events or their own viewing experience, as outlined in the patent.

The Patent’s Core Concepts:

According to the patent’s claims, individuals who are observing the video game (spectators) are granted the ability to access the gameplay view. Each spectator receives a menu on their device containing various options, and they select their desired in-game perspective from these choices. The system then determines the view of the video game that will be presented to them based on their selection.

Flowchart illustrating the operation of an audience monitoring engine, according to one embodiment of the present specification. | Source: Patent Public Search

Spectators are presented with a range of choices, including various video game perspectives. These options encompass views such as observing the entire video game from a top-down angle (aerial view), viewing the video game through the eyes of a particular player (first-person view), or watching it from a lateral perspective.

Moreover, the significance of spectators’ selections can be weighted according to specific attributes associated with them, including factors like their gameplay duration, experience, accomplishments, rankings, and their history of attending live gaming events or endorsing a particular team. For instance, an individual with extensive gameplay experience might have their choice granted greater influence.

Rewards Based on Location:

Furthermore, the system has the capability to determine the geographical location of spectators, such as their city or country, through their internet connection data or Global Positioning System (GPS) information. Consequently, the system could potentially offer rewards to spectators based on their location, implying that the place from which they are viewing may impact the rewards they receive.

Block diagram of a video game stream (VGS) application, according to an embodiment of the specification. | Source: Patent Public Search

Utilising the aforementioned characteristics, the system creates the video game, grants entry to spectators, enables them to make their preferred selections, and subsequently presents them with the chosen video game perspective. This patent, by establishing avenues for interaction between players and spectators, fosters increased engagement from the viewing audience.

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