Sony has filed a new patent that describes several methods for allowing spectators to kick a player from a game — and one of the methods described involves paying a microtransaction.
We've all been there — you're stuck spectating a game after grouping up with a friend and we have to sit and wait to get in the action. You might get lucky if someone leaves and you're allowed to backfill; more often than not, however, you're going to end up waiting for the game to be over before you can join your buddies. Soon, that might all change thanks to a new patent filed by Sony.
How the Sony Microtransaction Patent Lets You Kick Players for Cash
As SegmentNext reports, this new Sony patent showcases a worrying new form of microtransaction: paying a fee to remove someone from a game in progress. Here's a portion of text from the patent filing:
 In one embodiment, the interface to enable providing of feedback to the cloud gaming system enables spectators to pay to have a player removed from playing the video game. In one embodiment, the interface to enable providing of feedback to the cloud gaming system enables a spectator to pay in full a fixed price to have a player removed from playing the video game, and the removal of the player is performed by the cloud gaming system when payment in full of the fixed price is received from the spectator. In another embodiment, the interface to enable providing of feedback to the cloud gaming system enables a plurality of spectators to pay a part of a fixed price to have a player removed from the playing the video game, and the removal of the player is performed by the cloud gaming system when combined payment in full of the fixed price is received from the plurality of spectators each of whom paid a part of the fixed price to have the player removed from playing the video game.
In short: a single person can pay a fixed fee to kick someone from the game or a bunch of spectators can split the cost for kicking a player.
Mind, this patent isn't just about the microtransaction — it also covers a number of other potential scenarios where spectators may wish to kick a player. These include a voting threshold system, a mode based on player skill levels, and an auction of all things. A good patent will cover as many scenarios as it can get away with — the microtransaction for kicking a player from a game is just one portion of a lengthy document that explores the patent in extreme detail. Ultimately, this patent is all about defining a bunch of systems that would allow a spectator or spectators to kick a player from a game.
As for the reason behind the kick, most of the patent describes different voting systems. There are a number of reasons why spectators might want to boot a player, too — it sure would be useful for spectators to be able to kick a cheater from a game. Either way, I'm sure that some people will use such a feature for less wholesome reasons, too.
There's also no guarantee that Sony will use this patent — lots of companies will invest the money to protect their invention and end up not using it all. If that day ever does come, though, I reckon that we'll have a whole new definition of pay-to-win.
What do you think of the microtransaction as described in the Sony patent? Have you ever spectated a game and wished you could kick a player? Let us know in the comments below!