Nintendo file a patent for a “massively single-player online game”
Nintendo have acquired a new patent for a “massively single-player online game” experience. The patent document’s description is rather vague, but the basic premise of the concept is that it allows many people to play online and affect each other’s experiences without directly interacting with each other, as is the case in a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG). If that still doesn’t make any sense to you, Maxis’s Spore is a prime example of a previously successful MSOG design in which your creatures, vehicles, and buildings could randomly show up in other people’s games.
Why is this patent significant? Well, it’s possible that it ties in with the Wii U’s online experience. Forum user Ponkotsu speculates that it may be Nintendo’s answer to PlayStation Home – an ever-expanding city of Miis he dubs ‘Miitropolis’ (an idea he elaborated on extensively here; it’s a long but absolutely brilliant read). Alternatively, it’s possible (albeit less exciting) that the patent has something to do with a future Animal Crossing game – perhaps the one coming to the 3DS, or maybe an eventual entry on the Wii U.
Either way, for Nintendo to go to the trouble of patenting this type of game probably means that they’ve got big plans for the idea that they don’t want anyone else to have a chance of copying. Their secretiveness about the Wii U’s online system, the reactions of developers to it, and now, a patent for a particular type of online experience – the pieces of the puzzle haven’t all quite come together yet, but it’s quite clear that Nintendo are onto something.
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