Warner Bros Games patent Shadow of War’s Nemesis System

Warner Bros Games have finally managed to get a patent on Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis System, which they’ve been trying to do since it was created.

As reported by IGN, the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice that confirms the developer’s patent and sets the date when it’s in force for February 23, 2021.

Nemesis System was quite well received back when Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor launched in 2014, and what was left of initial quirks was polished to perfection in Shadow of War.

As the name suggests, Nemesis makes players experience a dynamic landscape of opponents, where enemies react to their victories, advance and drop down the ranks, and overall make for believable villains.

According to the preliminary patent the dev filed for in 2015, Nemesis is described as “methods for managing non-players characters [that are] based on character hierarchies and individualized correspondences“.

In spite of attempting to finalise the patent on several occasions, they only managed to pull it off recently. Mind you, WB Games are certainly not the first ones to have a patent on video game tech, but theirs is a bit vaguely described in the patent description.

After all, patenting a method for, say, gardening is perfectly valid, but Nemesis System’s phrasing sounds very much like the dev patented gardens.

It has been suggested that other developers have and will continue to shy away from creating similar systems for fear of legal action from WB Games, which if true is a shame. RPG makers have been devising similar systems since the genre came to be, and none of them went to the patent office to make sure others can’t follow.

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