Nintendo files “massively single-player online” patent

Players' game worlds will interact, but not directly
Matthew Turner
Matthew Turner -


Rumours abound (originating from GameSpot) that Nintendo will be entering into the market of “massively single player” online gaming, after a patent was filed by the company.

Massively single player might sound like a contradiction in terms - by definition there’s one player in a single player game, and nothing massive about that game population.

But the patent, filed last year but only recently made available to the public, sets the stage for Nintendo to develop a single player experience in which the actions of a player can influence the environments of other players.

However, there would be no direct contact between players, making this a kind of private massively multiplayer gaming which avoids the potential conflict that can spring forth from direct interaction.

Nintendo’s patent states: “Those who want to play games that are more dynamic, not-based on Al and not pre-scripted like multiplayer games, however, don’t want to ‘deal’ with other people, appreciate the privacy it provides.”

Nintendo offered an example of what this online experience could contain and how, despite being a single player experience, users could affect each other – namely, an in-game economy that is based on player demand for specific items could be implemented.

However, the company plans to drop the privacy aspect with people who are “friends” with each other. Friends could be visible to each other in their respective worlds.

The patent goes on to list several examples of how the concept might work, including elements such as house building and gossiping.

As yet, it’s not clear what sort of development time-frame Nintendo has in mind for its alternative multiplayer gaming concept.

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