MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR's Nemesis System Successfully Patented By Warner Bros.

MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR's Nemesis System Successfully Patented By Warner Bros.

It took five years but Warner Bros. has managed to successfully patent the innovative nemesis system from Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. A move that has many gamers incredibly upset.

The Nemesis system was a breath of fresh air in gaming development when it burst on the scene in 2014's Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.  The system revolutionized enemy A.I., allowing for a myriad of different gameplay experiences based on style of play and battle outcomes. 

How the Nemesis system worked was that enemy bosses would remember the gamer's character and rise and fall in strength depended upon how their skirmishes with the main character played out. For instance, if the gamer lost to an orc captain, that same enemy might turn up later in the game, as a tougher, more powerful war chief.  That enemy might also recall the previous battle and taunt the gamer with their prior defeat.  

When the Nemesis system debuted, gamers and journalist alike daydreamed about how such a unique A.I. system would impact other titles and genres.  However, it looks like that won't happen as Microsoft has patented the system, meaning it will only be available to use in Warner Bros. games and its subsidiary studios.  One gamer succinctly summed up the situation by asking, "Imagine if someone had patented the double jump?"

Other game developers have particularly decried the broad language in the patent meaning that the development of a separate, rival system could fall under the patent's jurisdiction. That of course, would lead to a lengthy and costly court case that many smaller developers simply wouldn't have the coin to fund.

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