Activision has been considering to introduce bonus rounds in online games as a newfound focus on improving player-engagement and player-retention.
According to a recently published patent, an online game can be designed to feature a bonus gameplay round that will unlock during particular instances. Only the most valuable players will be eligible to take part in these bonus sessions which Activision terms as an exclusive reward for their feats of strength. The rest of the players, while spectating and not playing, will still be involved in the bonus round by determining the content through real-time player-voting.
Systems and methods enable most valuable players (MVPs) of a gameplay session to play a bonus gameplay session where other players (non-MVP players) participate as player-spectators in online video games and, through a collective voting mechanism or through active interaction, determine the occurrence of certain events or contents of the bonus gameplay in real time. In this manner, non-MVP players are able to directly affect the course of the bonus gameplay session.
Activision notes in the filing that bonus rounds are usually designed to reward or incentivize players for achievements. They are also usually offered either at the end of a game or at the completion of certain stages of the game.
Activision believes that such a design has failed to retain players whose performance may not be exceptional. Hence, the need for a new design that focuses on player-performance and rewards them based on their skill-cap.
Activision has been filing for a lot of similar patents that all aim at redefining player-experiences. Most recently, the publisher was spotted considering a way for players to experience new games by giving them the freedom to create their very own personalized and customized demos.
That patent claimed to have games designed with certain checkpoints so that players can try them out according to their preferences before making a full purchase. Hence, players would be able to choose a particular portion to play from the game, the number of available characters and opponents, the allowed items and abilities, the difficulty levels, and the number of hours allowed before the player-defined demo expires—all presumably based on a price point that adjusts to the player-curation.