A couple of years ago, Riot Games filed for and won a patent for an in-game “self-moving camera”. The spectator cam automatically follows League of Legends players on any given map, prioritising shots using a server-calculated “interest value”.
Trouble is, Dota 2 had one of those first. Fans reached for the pitchforks when the patent was published last week, prompting Riot to release a statement in response. Their stance: we’re not going to be dicks about it.
“Guys, we’ve been getting some questions about patents we filed a couple years ago,” wrote Riot gods Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill. “We have no interest in using any patents offensively.”
Beck and Merrill called the US patent system “broken” and in need of reform, pointing to the many games companies - Riot included - routinely attacked by patent trolls.
“Our default’s to collaborate,” they went on. “We won’t get in the way of anyone else building awesome spectator features, but we do want to make sure League of Legends players can always spectate freely.”
Beck and Merrill finished by urging players to push congress to address patent reform.
Fun fact: Riot give their players express permission to use their intellectual property in fan projects, so long as they’re not sold for profit. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Are Riot still cool?