New Activision Patent will Throw Microtransactions in Your Face

Publishers Need to Remind You About Purchases

Microtransactions aren’t going anywhere; that being the case, Activision is leading the charge when it comes to creative ways to implement them. A new patent filed in 2015 has surfaced, and according to the content, it places microtransactions front and center.


The patent deals with a Video Game Stream System in which the right ads pop up during broadcasts. Say, you’re watching your favorite video game streamer. During the playback, a prompt will pop up asking whether you want to make in-game or physical purchases. Furthermore, the applications states, “the system may either automatically cause a purchase of a corresponding item (e.g., by looking up pre-stored financial account information of the viewer or virtual currency account information of the viewer) or cause a transaction interface to be presented to the viewer, which allows the user to input (financial or virtual) account information.”

Unfortunately, it is unclear how the streaming party may benefit from such an interface or how exactly the company will withdraw currency from viewer accounts.

Activision’s genius behind this new VGS is shown it how it enhances the experience for streamer and viewer. On the broadcaster’s end, improved editing capacity will allow streaming with graphic overlays, different camera angles, and so on. On the other side, viewers will behold better navigation for cameras, comments, featured in-game content, and more. But, as indicated by the patent’s headline, the ultimate goal is driving microtransactions.

Since the patent has officially been granted to the publisher, it raises concerns. Activision recently found itself in hot water for a patent that rigged PvP matchmaking in order to encourage players to make in-game purchases. Neither application has been implemented in any of their games, but only time will tell their effect on the experience.