Sony tries to patent NFT and blockchain technology usage in games
- Sony Interactive Entertainment seeks a patent for a system tracking unique digital assets in-game. But the patent in its current form has already been rejected.
- Sony has previously explored blockchain technology for music copyright management and education.
Japanese gaming giant Sony Interactive Entertainment is seeking a patent for a system for tracking unique digital assets in-game using tokens in a distributed ledger. Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization released details of the patent filed in the previous year. It suggests that Sony is exploring how to integrate NFT and blockchain into its games.
The patent outlines a claim for techniques and technologies for creating, modifying, tracking, authenticating, and transmitting unique digital assets associated with a video game, including in-game items and characters. It describes in general terms how new blocks can be generated to identify changes in the history of the digital asset and how this would extend the functionality of the game assets.
If that sounds like a technology already used by every blockchain game, the Patent Office thinks so too. The patent in its current form has already been rejected because it failed to “integrate the abstract idea into a practical application.” You will need an update if Sony wants to proceed with the process. “Years may pass while this back and forth continues before a (often much more constrained) patent is issued or the application is abandoned. Other companies using blockchain-based gaming resources should monitor applications like this. Still, there is no cause for concern just yet,” said Paul Coble, intellectual property attorney at Harris Bricken Sliwoski.
Sony has previously explored blockchain technology for music copyright management and education, but this is the first indication that it is interested in how it might be used in games. Its latest move follows other gaming giants such as Bandai Namco and Square Enix, which have also shown interest and support for blockchain and NFT integration.
Only some people are that eager. Despite investing in cryptocurrency companies, Microsoft has distanced itself from NFTs on multiple occasions. The gaming division is shy about technology. In July, Mojang Studios, acquired by Microsoft in 2014, said that NFTs and other blockchain technologies are “generally not supported or allowed” in Minecraft. He opposed NFTs because using them would create a culture of unequal access within the game.