New Sony Patent Would Allow Spectators To Bench Players

If you’ve ever been watching a stream of a game and thinking one team’s player was doing too good or too bad to keep things interesting, a new Sony patent would apparently create a system allowing spectators to vote to bench players, and it would happen upon reaching a certain threshold. According to the patent:

“As more and more people have become interested in watching video games and esports events, game developers have sought to enhance the viewing experience by providing increased functionality and interactivity for spectators.”

Esports are one of the most-watched things on video game streaming sites like Twitch, and very often include team games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Defense of the Ancients 2, and Call of Duty. And, as with many sports events in real life, there are bound to be players who can’t perform when the chips are down, or are deliberately dragging the game down, according to the new Sony patent.

“In particular, the embodiments described herein describe a voting interface that enables spectators to vote to remove players from the video game for bad behavior, e.g. poor sportsmanship, substandard performance in the video game, or simply because the spectator does not wish to see a particular player play in the video game.”

While such a situation would definitely open things up to trolling, the various methods by which benching players could be done with spectator votes does at least have some safeguards, some describing hitting a voting threshold of 60% of spectators voting to remove a player, or having to pay for each vote. The patent also explains however that benching is not the same as permanent removal, though such a thing can still be implemented.

“A player that is removed, therefore, may still be eligible to return to active game play and may still be considered to be part of the game. In other embodiments, removal can include full removal from the game, e.g. the player is banned from future participation in that game.”

Whether such a thing will ever end up coming true remains to be seen, but considering the amount of toxicity in some multiplayer games, streamers may have to watch their mouths if spectators ever gain the power to kick them from the game themselves. You can read the patent in full by following this link.