Developers Criticize Warner’s Nemesis System Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially approved Warner Bros. Games‘ patent application for the Nemesis System (which we discussed previously in detail), and the devs don’t take it kindly!

The Nemesis system, which was used in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, was registered by the games’ publisher, causing multiple developers from the gaming industry to grab a keyboard and express anger or disappointment about the subject, pointing out that Warner itself has borrowed many ideas and game mechanics to build the Nemesis system on them.

VGC quoted two developers. „This is really gross, especially for a franchise that built its brilliant Nemesis System on top of a whole heap of mechanics replicated from other games as all games do because that’s how culture and creativity works. Be a better neighbor, WB,” wrote Thomas Was Alone developer, Mike Bithell.

Riot Games’ Cat Manning is concerned about how broad of a language was used in Warner’s patent, and it might be making things difficult for other developers (such as indie studios) to defend themselves in court if Warner enforces its new patent: „Hey, this f****** sucks. I looked at the patent and it’s so broad as to be absurd! Multiple other emergent narrative systems that I have seen and worked on could be described with their language! It probably would not be legally enforceable but I and other indie devs don’t have the money to find out!”, Manning saysm adding that it could hamper creativity and innovation because it’s broad enough that it could end up being  a license to stop ANY similar work from being developed.”

Sure, there were many patents that never ended up being enforced by multiple publishers, but this time, we suspect that Warner could be a „scumbag publisher” that tries to take competition out…

Source: PSL

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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