Did you think that Overwatch’s Play of the Game was just a neat little highlight reel, similar to that shown in the more recent Mario Kart iterations? Well, as it turns out, it’s much more than that. Play of the Game is a very technical process, involving all manner of gubbins going on behind the scenes. Blizzard are so proud of the system, they’ve now patented it.
If you’re one of those gamers who has resisted the all-conquering allure of Overwatch, here’s the deal. We’re not talking about the last-shot-cams of other shooters, or the instant replays of the knockout in ARMS. Play of the Game incorporates special moments of all kinds at the end of a match, sorting them into categories: High Score, Lifesaver, Shutdown and Sharpshooter.
It’s similar yet unlike anything other shooters try to do, which probably explains why Blizzard are zealously defending it. As Unikrn reports, they applied for a patent for the Play of the Game system, and have officially been awarded one.
The patent document details a little of the technical flim-flamming that goes on behind the scenes to create these montages. It’s a similar process to comments on YouTube videos, which provide timestamps to the more important moments. From there, it’s a matter of "the game server [scoring] the events according to a plurality of criteria corresponding [to] a plurality of play of the game categories."
In short, it’s all just a fancy way of giving fans quick and easy way to share their more impressive in-game exploits on social media and such. Which is nothing new to anybody, of course, but the clips are a cut above the usual instant replays regardless.
So, Blizzard, why so defensive? It probably isn’t much of a surprise, with the battle royale clone/hero shooter clone thing that’s rife in gaming at the moment. This has been the way of development ever since Doom and Mario Kart popularised their respective genres, and spawned a whole fleet of pretenders in the process. Even the dang Crazy Frog released a clone of that one. Mario Kart, that is, not Doom. Although wouldn’t that have been a sight?
Whatever the reasoning, it’s a clear message from Blizzard: we all know who the real hero shooter is around here.