Sony Files Patent For Advertising That “Suspends” Interactive Media

NeoGAF user onQ123 picked up on a patent filed by Sony Computer Entertainment that could quite literally be a game changer.  The US Patent (File Number US 2011/0274409 A1) was filed in July 2011 and establishes a patent for a, “method for use in advertising, comprising: initiating, through a processor system, playing of interactive content; providing a user with an indication that the playing of the interactive content will be suspended, wherein the indication comprises a slowing down of the playing of the interactive content; suspending, through the processor system, playing of the interactive content; displaying an advertisement; and resuming playing of the interactive content.”  In simpler terms, the patent calls out a method of essentially pausing a video game or other interactive media to show you an advertisement before letting you get back to your regularly scheduled fragfest.

In game advertisement and product placement has become increasingly prevalent in our video game experiences; from EA’s use of advertising in achievements, to billboards and signage in game to promote products, we see it more and more.  However, this patent detailing the possibility of actually stopping gameplay sounds quite disturbing, especially when gamers are already being asked to pay $60 to play a retail game.

However, the patent could also be a proactive move on Sony’s part to ensure that any future methods of advertising aren’t grabbed up by patent trolls known to file broadly defined patents in order to sue game publishers and console makers for their own ideas.  Furthermore, it might be a method of bringing additional revenue streams in from free-to-play games such as the upcoming Dust 514, or other similar titles.  Gamers could potentially see ads in between gaming sessions while they wait in a lobby, which would not be quite so disruptive as the patent implies.

We’re reached out to Sony for comment.

Source: NeoGAF

More Reading: Digital Trends, Patent File Number US 2011/0274409 A1


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August 13, 2012 - 10:37 am

Gaming, News