Seems everyone is discussing the bit of news from yesterday in some manner.
MMOExperience, Tish Tosh and Broken Toys, with more to follow I am sure.
Worlds.com is throwing around a bit of weight with a patent that could really change the face of the MMO genre.
Broken Toys gets quite meaty with the subject, explaining about a legal system in the big ole state of Texas that seems to be unfair to many of the defendants of various cases.
This could explain the NCSoft reasoning of becoming the first target...
As he notes from another site..
“Being a foreign defendant in Texas is not a pleasant thing,” he said of NCsoft, which is primarily a Korean company. “The juries are, many would say, biased towards American plaintiffs and have a propensity to offer high damages. Some defendants might view them as an unfriendly jury and it might make the defendant more likely to settle.”
Ouch. But, lets not forget about the monetary issues NCSoft is feeling at this time. And worse how at this time in the Economy, and how a frivolous suit like this could lead to closure for a company if costs skyrocket.
Tish Tosh notes..
"NCSoft is over a barrel, at least Stateside, and makes for a much easier target than Blizzard"
But, this started me down the path toward finding out if there is any alternative means to running an MMO without the features noted by Worlds in their patent.
Could this change the way MMO's charge fee's? Could costs go up if all companies have to pay the license fee?
Or could these offerings be "Not for profit", and the companies offer alternative means to make cash. Like offering voice chat, and then suggesting alternate means to type (which would bypass the main gist of the patent)?
If a player uses VOIP in game, and say XFire to talk by text...how does that affect the patent lawsuit? And the server/client is say...free?
Mind you this is one of the two patents though. This patent was filed in 2000.
This explains about a virtual space and tracking the location of an "Avatar" and rendering objects to display to that character in a 3d space.
Yea..in so many words, ALL MMO's.
But, the date has issues with "Prior Art" for MMO's, with Lineage being noted by Adingworld in my previous post's comments hitting in 1998 (which covers NCSofts butt).
This patent is more bothersome
Filed in 1996, this one is more encompassing, and includes location data and communications.
Crude drawings accompany this patent, and it seems to be precise in how it works. And unless NCSoft can show some alternate means of communicating this data on their servers, they will be toast.
There is no doubt this will change everything. I may have been more precise in my predictions than I thought when I stated 2009 would be "The year of the single player game".