Activision has patented a technique which uses matchmaking to encourage players to spend money in their games.
The patent was first spotted by Glixel and works by matching players to those with paid-for items so that you see their shiny pixels and and wrought with envy.
Activision have stated that this was purely part R&D work with no implementation in-game, and Bungie have been quick to confirm the system isn’t in Destiny 2.
Loot boxes have proven incredibly lucrative for studios and it’s no surprise that, unregulated, big companies will look into ways to wring the most out of their customers. Even with that in mind, the terminology used comes across as pretty insidious.
"For instance, the microtransaction engine may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player. A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player," the patent asserts, even going on to suggest the idea of matching players based on their preferred weapons and gear to those with more expensive loot, or putting players with purchased weapons into favourable matches to encourage more spending.
While it hasn’t been implemented, this news may be fairly eye-opening to some players regarding the lengths companies will go to open their wallet. With real money on the line, players will have to keep their eyes open for any tricks in the future.