On the heels of Sony and Naughty Dog’s overreach in abusing the DMCA system to cover up leaks of The Last of Us 2, it’s been revealed that Sony has patented new “spoiler-blocking technology” which could be coming alongside the new Playstation 5 set to launch this year.
Sony has devised a new system that is supposed to help players that are playing a game avoid spoilers online until they’ve finished the game. Sony were granted the patent on April 23rd, 2020 – just four days before controversial and off-putting leaked scenes from the upcoming game The Last of Us 2 were leaked online.
Simply put, the new patent pertains to a technology that allows Sony to prevent users from potentially spoiling the game they are currently playing or are wanting to play. The tech behind the patent, however, does not prevent users from watching any content from any game that they have already played or from the parts of a game that the player has already experienced.
For instance, if a user has already cleared the first two parts of a game, and is yet to clear the final two parts, they may be prevented from learning any spoilers about the final two parts, with no such restrictions around the first two parts that he has already played.
Although there is no official announcement about the technology’s full details and what the “spoiler-blocking technology” may do, here’s what we know:
“The technology disclosed herein can allow players to engage with friends and the community around narrative games with the confidence that they will not accidentally see spoilers (which can include an activity, character, item, outcome of activity, action, effect, location, and attribute of character or item),” the patent reads.
“A spoiler is a description of an important plot development in a video game which, if previously known, may reduce surprise or suspense for a first-time player. Exposure to spoilers can decrease the quality of the overall gaming experience for a player, and can even make the player lose interest in playing the game. Avoiding spoilers is of paramount importance to players of narrative-driven games. Spoilers can prevent such players from deeply engaging in the gaming community until those players have completed the game, limiting their engagement level with that community.”
Sony’s efforts in trying to shield users from spoilers is going to cause many to wonder how the company could achieve this without somehow having access to a user’s devices and digital conversations – suggesting that such measures are likely to be rather invasive.