Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War's Nemesis system Patented By WB Interactive

WB Interactive successfully patents the Nemesis system

By Grayshadow, Posted 06 Feb 2021

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War were massive successes and the iconic system from those titles was the Nemesis system. A social interface where Orcs would have distinct strengths and weaknesses with a social system that the player could manipulate. Allowing for changes in the Orc structure for personal benefit. 

The system was a huge achievement and since then WB Interactive has been trying to patent the system. Now the company is successful and this one action could have massive issues in game development.

Shadow of War,NoobFeed,Middle Earth,

According to IGN,

While the language in the application is fairly obtuse - as most patent claims tend to be - the “short” version is that the patent covers a system featuring procedurally-generated NPCs that exist in a hierarchy and interact with and will remember the actions of players, have their appearance/behavior altered by players, and whose place in that hierarchy can change and affect the position of other NPCs in said hierarchy (and yes, that’s the simplified version).

Innovation within game development is possible thanks to the free use of existing mechanics and modifying or advancing them. For example, games like DOOM and Final Fantasy were the vanguard of the FPS and RPG genre which has seen huge steps forwards thanks to creative minds. With this new patent, it'll become easier for publishers to stifle creativity for profit not to mention the hypocrisy of this entire patent. The Middle-earth franchise borrowed heavily from Assassin's Creed, Batman Arkham, and many customization mechanics used in games like Final Fantasy and Mass Effect. In fact, the Nemesis system is a modified version of the FOB system used in Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain.

While the patent protects anyone from using a 1 to 1 recreation of the system it'll make those willing to create a similar system more hesitant, especially indie developers.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One
Publisher(s): WB Games
Developer(s): Monolith Productions
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: 2017-09-27

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