Electronic Arts (EA) will be changing the way seasonal rewards are distributed among players in games or so does a recently filed trademark suggest.
Currently, the publishing giant as well as other publishers outline a single linear path for players to follow. Taking a battle pass as an example, players have to make progress towards the first level (or node) before unlocking the attached reward and then immediately progressing towards the next level or node. What EA is considering right now is to give players more options so that they can choose their own path for their own rewards.
According the abstract of the patent, an entire virtual map will be set before the players. The non-linear design will mean that players must decide between multiple paths for their respective rewards. In other words, there will be junctions set at certain points by EA where players can turn either left or right, or keeping going forward. Each path will have a unique set of rewards. Hence, players can either move through the shortest route for pre-sighted rewards or backtrack and complete the entire map for a clean run.
The seasonal reward system can provide users with a non-linear map that allows the users to choose how to progress through the reward map when advancing or leveling up a virtual character or user account within the video game.
The virtual map can provide a visual representation of a non-linear pathway or tracks that a user can follow based on how the user would like to proceed and what types of rewards the user prefers to unlock. The reward map provides a series of reward nodes connected by links, resulting in a plurality of pathways or tracks that a user can select during advancement within the video game.
Such a non-linear reward system by EA or any publisher for that matter would certainly be appreciated by players. Too often do players have to grind through an entire battle pass for that one particular reward at the end. By having multiple paths, players will have the freedom of choice to move around and skip unwanted rewards entirely. That would save a lot of time.
That being said, EA will be bringing such a non-linear reward system with a premium option. While each path will have different rewards, there will be certain nodes where the rewards (or possibly the entire path) will be locked away behind a paywall. So for example, a free battle pass will allow players to earn only the free rewards located around the map. However, purchasing the battle pass will open up all of the rewards.
The idea is certainly interesting, at least way more than what EA trademarking last year. The publisher also has a patent for a system that devalues virtual items based on the number of purchases made. Hence, creating an artificial sense of urgency in players to spend as soon as possible to gain the maximum benefits.