Sony Working On Automated Online Tournaments For Its Games

Sony
PlayStation Tournaments | Source: PlayStation.Blog

Rundown:

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment is potentially working on a technology to streamline the process of conducting and participating in e-sports tournaments for tournament operators and players by integrating an automated online tournament system into its games.
  • The system uses algorithms to create and manage tournaments, including creating brackets, scheduling matches, and tracking results, and is also capable of handling multiple tournaments concurrently.
  • The tournament server can also receive customised tournament parameters from the tournament operator and places the players in the corresponding tournament(s) based on the customised tournament parameters.
  • The automated online tournament system is expected to provide a more convenient and efficient way for players to participate in online tournaments and potentially attract a wider audience by simplifying the process of organising and conducting e-sports events.

Sony Interactive Entertainment is one of the most widely recognised video game and digital entertainment companies out there. With subsidiaries like Guerilla Games and Santa Monica Studio under its name, the company (as PlayStation Studios) has released some of the most commercially and critically successful video game franchises of all time, such as Horizon and God of War. However, in recent years, the company expanded to many more domains, including cloud gaming, virtual reality, and e-sports.

In March 2021, Sony Interactive Entertainment acquired the Evolution Championship Series (EVO), an annual e-sports event focused exclusively on fighting games, in collaboration with RTS. By acquiring one of the biggest e-sports events under its name, the company aspires to foster not only the development of the fighting game community but also the e-sports industry as a whole. Hence, it is no surprise that Sony Interactive Entertainment hasn’t stopped here, as it seems like the company’s endeavours to expand itself into the e-sports industry are shaping into making it more accessible and convenient for players anywhere to participate in automated online tournaments not particularly organised by any entity and potentially win some rewards as well.

Earlier today, we came across a recently awarded patent to Sony Interactive Entertainment, titled “AUTOMATED TOURNAMENTS,” filed in June 2021 under the name of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. The patent, which was published only a couple of days ago, details a system that allows players to participate in online tournaments for various video games without the need for a human or commercial organizer. Instead, the system uses algorithms to create and manage tournaments, including creating brackets, scheduling matches, and tracking results. According to the patent summary, the system is supposedly designed to support a variety of video games, including both competitive and cooperative multiplayer games, and is also capable of handling multiple tournaments concurrently, making it well-suited even for large-scale events.

Sony
Exemplary network embodiment in which a system for automating tournaments may be implemented. | Source: PATENTSCOPE

The abstract for the patent reads, “The present disclosure describes methods and systems directed towards automating tournaments within a gaming environment. Data regarding a first set of players that registered for a tournament may be received by a tournament server. The players are placed in a tournament queue. If the number of players in the tournament queue exceeds a certain threshold, then one or more tournaments are created based on a model tournament, the maximum size of the tournament, and the number of players in the tournament queue. The players in the tournament queue are placed into each of the tournaments that includes one or more matches.” Hence, the automated tournament system is expected to provide a more convenient and efficient way for players to participate in online tournaments and potentially attract a wider audience by simplifying the process of organising and conducting e-sports events.

Based on the information provided in the patent, it seems that the automated online tournament system described allows players to register for an online tournament using their computing devices (PC or consoles, or possibly mobile). Once enough players have registered, the tournament server will create one or more tournaments based on a pre-determined maximum size and place the players in the tournament queue into the corresponding tournaments. This system has the potential to streamline the process of organising and running online tournaments, as it takes care of many of the tasks that would normally be handled by a human or commercial organizer.

According to the patent, the automated online tournament system includes gaming network servers associated with one or more game titles and a tournament server. The tournament server receives data regarding a set of players registered for a tournament and places them in a tournament queue. If the number of players in the queue exceeds a pre-determined maximum tournament size, the tournament server creates one or more tournaments based on a model tournament, the players in the tournament queue, and the pre-determined maximum tournament size. The tournament server also receives customised tournament parameters from the tournament operator and places the players in the tournament queue into the tournaments.

Sony
Flowchart illustrating an exemplary method for automating tournaments. | Source: PATENTSCOPE

Furthermore, the tournament server can automatically repeat the tournaments after a pre-determined time set by the tournament operator and can report the results of the tournaments based on gameplay data from the matches. Additionally, it can receive data regarding another set of players registered for placement in the tournament queue, potentially while the tournament is already active, and can have one or more parameters in common, such as the region where the players are located. Such options to customise the tournament parameters as desired may be presented to the tournament operator by the tournament server.

In addition to this, the customised tournament parameters received by the tournament server may also include “custom metrics to evaluate player performance,” “creating one or more tournaments based on a model tournament and the customized tournament parameters based on a model tournament,” and “placing the players in a respective tournament queue in each of the tournaments.” Hence, while the automated online tournament system could potentially take over the reins of managing and conducting the tournament(s), nearly all the control will still be provided to the tournament operator to organise the tournament(s) according to their preferences.

It is currently unclear when or if Sony Interactive Entertainment plans to implement this technology in its video game offerings, but the patent suggests that the company is exploring ways to further enhance the online gaming experience for its players and continue its expansion into the e-sports industry. In July, the company acquired Repeat.gg, an online video game tournament platform where players can compete for real cash or prizes, and it seems this process may soon be streamlined even further. The details of this patent are exhilarating for players and tournament organizers alike, as it has the potential to revolutionise the way online tournaments are conducted. It will be intriguing to see how this technology will be utilised in the future and its impact on the competitive video game landscape.

What do you think about this? Do tell us your opinions in the comments below!

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