It appears as though Sony might be developing new ways to enable esports gambling.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently filed a patent for an esports betting platform [via DualShockers]. The abstract reads:
“Odds for various propositions concerning the play of a computer simulation are determined and presented to a viewer for pecuniary or non-pecuniary wagering purposes. The odds may be determined using past game analytics, or may be determined parimutuelly.”
Breaking this down, it sounds as though Sony is investigating ways of gambling with in-game items. The use of ‘non-pecuniary would indicate that participants may be able to use digital items they own to gamble for new ones.
This is similar to how games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive operate. In CS:GO, weapon skins and loot crates can be gambled and traded through the Steam Marketplace.
In the second part of the abstract, references are made to ‘parimutuel’ bets. This process is where bets of a certain type are pooled together and then distributed among the winners.
Sony is making big moves in the esports industry
This isn’t the first move into the esports injury that we’ve seen from Sony. The company recently acquired the Evolution Championship Series, also known as Evo.
The world-famous esports series is the biggest fighting game event on the calendar, so Sony showing interest is not insignificant.
With the recent acquisition, it wouldn’t surprise us if Sony started to make bigger moves into the esports industry by facilitating gambling.
That said, companies frequently issue patents that never make it past the drawing board. Sony recently filed a patent for an AI that will play games for you. Going back years, it even patented a controller design with a huge screen, similar to that of the Wii U. That last one never saw the light of day.
It’ll be interesting to see how Sony navigate esports gambling. Given the usual response to loot boxes, which are considered gambling, a less tactful approach might rub some gamers up the wrong way.
[Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment]
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