Sony Interactive Entertainment has been looking into new ways for spectators to quell toxicity in the multiplayer games they stream and to generally have more control over their streaming experience.
According to a published patent from earlier today, Sony understands that increasing the involvement of spectators on streaming platforms such as Twitch can help make a game popular and in turn boost viewership.
One such way for increased involvement is to give spectators access to a voting interface from which they can vote in real time to remove players from the game for “bad behavior, poor sportsmanship, substandard performance” or simply because the spectator holds no interest in watching a particular player play.
The said removal can be both temporary and permanent with the option to remove players for either the current match/round or from the game entirely.
In an example, Sony explains that spectators might not be happy about watching players perform poorly in a team-based multiplayer game. The poor performance can be related to both gameplay or toxic behavior.
Spectators can hence decide to “bench” such players by voting with the option to bring them back later on through another round of votes.
Interestingly, Sony intends to charge spectators for their votes. The patent describes three such options. Spectators can pay in full, a fixed percentage or participate in an auction where bids are placed to remove a player from a game. While the currency used for these vote-based removals remain to be detailed, spectators will likely to have to purchase credits with real-world currencies.
A method for displaying a video game to spectators includes receiving votes from spectators to remove a player from a video game.
Sony recently secured a patent for an online tournament system which will be integrated with the PlayStation Network to track players and games in real time on PlayStation 5.
The tournament management patent comes ahead of the Evolution Championship Series (Evo 2021) which Sony acquired a few months back. Sony might as well be considering to launch its premium voting system around the same window as well.