Activision has filed a series of patents over the last few months, including a patent for realistic face technology in video games, all of which hint at a forward-thinking attitude at the company. However, a new patent for a GPS based gaming technology suggests that the company isn't afraid to recreate tried and true gaming tech, either.
Gamers and non-gamers alike who were alive in 2016 should need no reminder of the massive success of a certain GPS-based Pokemon game. Now, after several years, two big things have happened. Someone has finally reached level 50 in Pokemon GO, and Activision has turned its gaze towards GPS based games as well.
The gaming giant, responsible for publishing the Tony Hawk series as well as the Call of Duty games, filed a patent on February 11 for "Gps Seed For Game Play," and the document paints a picture of what Activision may be planning. The system appears to use GPS coordinates to spawn a seed that triggers different events in the game world, which likely means several players at the same location would experience the same in-game event. Further, the system would use GPS coordinates to create consistent in-game locations, similar to Pokemon GO's PokeStops and Gyms. However, while players are able to nominate new PokeStops in Pokemon GO, no such feature is mentioned in Activision's patent.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Activision has filed a GPS-based gaming patent. The previous patent focused more on the visual side of augmented reality, which is the process that allows virtual characters to be imposed over the real world, whereas the more recent patent seems to be concerned with the technical side of having events and puzzles spawn at GPS-specific locations.
The devices shown being used in both patents are smartphones, but the latest patent states that the technology could be used in other "generally mobile devices" as well. On one hand, with Minecraft Earth shutting down later this year, thus reducing the competition, it's a great time for Activision to get in on the GPS gaming world. On the other hand, with many cities still on strict lockdown orders, it's something of a necessity that GPS games won't have the user-base they otherwise might, at least for the foreseeable future.
Of course, a patent doesn't necessarily mean that Activision is days away from announcing a GPS-based game. After all, Activision's controversial microtransaction patent from 2017 has yet to be implemented in any of the company's games. At the end of the day, only Activision knows if a GPS Call of Duty or Tony Hawk game is coming to phones and tablets, but the newest patent does suggest that the company is continuing to explore the idea.
Carnival is going to be celebrated pretty differently this year, as massive street gatherings are still discouraged in most countries, but Pokemon GO is still finding a way to help celebrate the annual event. The PoGO version of Carnival will still be region-specific to areas that are traditionally associated with the holiday, but it will be easier than ever to join in the fun from home or otherwise appropriately socially-distanced with this February 2021 in-game event.
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