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Patent reveals Activision uses matchmaking to encourage players to buy more microtransactions – UPDATE

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UPDATE: Activision sent us the following statment in regards to this new patent being revealed, stating that the matchmaking patent was an exploratory patent that is not implemented in any title.

“This was an exploratory patent filed in 2015 by an R&D team working independently from our game studios.  It has not been implemented in-game.”

Original Story:

Rolling Stone magazine has uncovered a new patent from Activision that was filed in 2015 that talks about how the company wants to design their matchmaking systems in their titles. Activision was granted the patent earlier this month by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

This new patent appears to be about how Activision plans to use “tricks” in their matchmaking system to lure players to purchase more in-game items through the course of playing a game. Specifically (one aspect of the large patent), the patent mentions that high skilled players get paired with low-skilled players to purposefully encourage low-skilled players to spend more money to get better in-game items to match up against higher skilled players.

“For example, in one implementation, the system may include a microtransaction engine that arranges matches to influence game-related purchases. 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.”

Furthermore, the patent describes that Activision could use the matchmaking data to encourage players to buy specific items they want, for example a sniper rifle.

“In a particular example, the junior player may wish to become an expert sniper in a game (e.g., as determined from the player profile). The microtransaction engine may match the junior player with a player that is a highly skilled sniper in the game. In this manner, the junior player may be encouraged to make game-related purchases such as a rifle or other item used by the marquee player.”

The patent also details that Activision may matchmake those who own a specific microtransaction item with those who do not, which could encourage the player who does not own the microtransaction item to purchase in-game credits to get it.

“Microtransaction engine 128 may analyze various items used by marquee players and, if at least one of the items is currently being offered for sale (with or without a promotion), match the marquee player with another player (e.g., a junior player) that does not use or own the item. Similarly, microtransaction engine 128 may identify items offered for sale, identify marquee players that use or possess those items, and match the marquee players with other players who do not use or possess those items. In this manner, microtransaction engine 128 may leverage the matchmaking abilities described herein to influence purchase decisions for game-related purchases.”

The patent also reveals how Activision could make players more encouraged to purchase additional in-game content after an initial purchase. The new engine they received a patent for would allow Activision to matchmake players with microtransaction items into games which highlight the power of the microtransaction item, leading players to feel satisfied with the purchase to buy additional content because of the gratification of the purchase.

“In an implementation, when a player makes a game-related purchase, microtransaction engine 128 may encourage future purchases by matching the player (e.g., using matchmaking described herein) in a gameplay session that will utilize the game-related purchase. Doing so may enhance a level of enjoyment by the player for the game-related purchase, which may encourage future purchases. For example, if the player purchased a particular weapon, microtransaction engine 128 may match the player in a gameplay session in which the particular weapon is highly effective, giving the player an impression that the particular weapon was a good purchase. This may encourage the player to make future purchases to achieve similar gameplay results.”

As part of the summary of the patent, Activision claims that in a certain implementation of a new microtransaction engine, the new system could “arrange matches to influence game-related purchases.” 

Microtransactions first appeared in Call of Duty back in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 with new ways to customize content. Since Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, in 2014, Activision brought a Supply Drop system to Call of Duty where players can purchase loot boxes to attain random content. Call of Duty’s loot boxes have weapons in the game which do feature stat changes, like in Black Ops 3, Advanced Warfare, and some weapons in Infinite Warfare.

Activision has also come under fire recently for the Eververse implementation in Destiny 2, where some Shader’s could not be used multiple times in game. Bungie’s community director says the this matchmaking system is not implemented in Destiny.

We shared more information about the patent in this article here.

SOURCE: Rolling Stone and US Patent Office

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

How to get more mags in Black Ops Cold War’s Firebase Z

A Black Ops Cold War player has found a neat trick with the RAI K-84 that lets you get extra mags in Firebase Z.

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The RAI K-84 in Black Ops Cold War

One Black Ops Cold War player has discovered a neat trick involving the RAI K-84 that allowed them to gain extra mags in Firebase Z, even when they had full ammo.

The RAI K-84 is the wonder weapon of Firebase Z and is the strongest one that you can build in Black Ops Cold War Zombies. A cross between a laser gun and an assault rifle, this weapon lets you dish out a ton of damage to the undead.

You can kill your enemies with purple blasts, along with an explosive ball that can be detonated. In Zombies mode, you’ll need all the ammo you can get and will have to make each shot count. This makes it wise to conserve as much as you can.

Luckily, one player has discovered a trick that you can use to get some extra mags for yourself, even if you have the max amount of ammo.

The RAI K-84 in Black Ops Cold War

Reddit user oreo368088 posted a clip of their Firebase Z gameplay in the Black Ops Cold War subreddit. In this, they showed off a clever tactic that many players will undoubtedly take advantage of.

They already had the max amount of ammo that one can carry in the game, so they shouldn’t have been able to buy any more. However, by switching to the Ray-K’s alternate firing mode, they were able to refill their ammo while carrying 7 extras.

You don’t have to worry about losing the extra mags by changing it back, since the player confirmed that they will remain in your inventory.

The comments were filled with impressed Black Ops Cold War fans that thanked the Redditor for showing them this incredibly helpful trick. Ammo is of great value in Zombies mode, so you’ll want to collect as much as you possibly can.

Other players reported having similar success with this method in the comments. “I tried this and it does [work],” wrote petrussian69420. Some of the comments noted that Treyarch will probably patch this up soon.

So far, it doesn’t seem that the developers are aware of this exploit yet. If they implement a change, then we’ll be sure to update you.

If you’re wondering how to get your hands on the RAI K-84, you can take a look at our full guide here.

Image Credits: Treyarch/ Activision

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War Season 2 is getting a bonus map

Season 2 of Black Ops Cold War will introduce some new maps, as well as a brand new bonus variant of Miami.

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Daytime Miami in Black Ops Cold War

Treyarch have revealed the new multiplayer maps that they will introduce in Season 2 of Black Ops Cold War, and it seems that we will also get a daytime variant of Season 1’s Miami as a bonus map.

Black Ops Cold War and Warzone Season 1 brought a ton of new content for Call of Duty fans to dive into. This included a few new maps to battle in, and we’re already wondering what Treyarch have planned for Season 2.

The devs have unveiled their plans for the game’s next update in the Season 2 roadmap, which confirmed four new incoming multiplayer maps. It turns out that we will also be getting a new version of Season 1’s Miami as a bonus.

Miami in Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War Season 2 will have a new Miami

Treyarch decided to stick with a 1980s aesthetic when designing Miami and while this is a cool concept, the map’s final design has received backlash from a good portion of the Call of Duty community due to some major problems.

One of the most glaring issues is the map’s dark lighting, as it makes it difficult to spot your opponents in the shadows. You’ll waste a good portion of your time searching for them, and will have to do it again once you get killed.

Another problem is the map’s openness, which discourages you from going into the center due to the number of players that are scanning the area. Treyarch have listened to the criticisms and will introduce a new daytime variant of Miami in Season 2.

This new version is known as Miami Strike and will be smaller than the original. As the name implies, we can expect this map variant to have a lot in common with the “strike” versions of Combined Arms. They’ve teased it with this description:

Rise and shine, Miami… because soon, it will be time to infiltrate Ocean Park Drive during the day.

With the sun glistening off the colorful murals of Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, Miami Strike will focus the action into a smaller daytime rendition of the original map. Whether it’s a white-knuckle game of TDM or a tense Hardpoint battle, the heat is always on in the streets of Miami.

This seems like an apt response to fan complaints with Miami, as a smaller daytime version will solve the visibility issues without messing with the aesthetic of the original. This will also allow you to move in the middle of the map without being instantly eliminated.

Hopefully, this will please the fans since they have had many complaints about the maps in Black Ops Cold War since it first launched. The game went live with a low number of 6v6 maps at its base, and they have the same gripes with Season 2.


For tips and tricks to dominate your enemy on every Black Ops Cold War multiplayer map, you can check out our guides below.

Nuketown ’84 | Crossroads | Raid | The Pines | Moscow | Miami | Cartel | Satellite | Checkmate |

Image Credits: Treyarch / Activision

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Call of Duty: Mobile

CoD Mobile devs confirm the return of classic Nuketown

The return of the classic Nuketown map in Call of Duty: Mobile has been confirmed by the developers in a community update.

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Nuketown in COD Mobile

While a snowy winter-themed area has been the focus of CoD Mobile since December, the developers have confirmed that the classic Nuketown map will be making its return to the game in the future.

Call of Duty: Mobile Season 1 serves as a soft reboot that resets the battle royale while adding a ton of exciting new content to it. It seems that the developers are also looking to bring back some classic content soon.

While the winter variant of Nuketown has been fun, there’s just no replacing the original. Luckily, the devs have officially confirmed that the classic version of this map will be making its return to CoD Mobile soon.

Nuketown in COD Mobile

When will classic Nuketown return to CoD Mobile?

During their February 12 Community Update, the CoD Mobile devs announced a few upcoming changes and answered fan questions about what to expect in the future. When asked about Nuketown, they confirmed that we’ll see the normal version return eventually.

“Yeah, we’ll likely have that map returning in the future and especially as we move further and further away from the Winter seasons,” they said. “We had Classic Nuketown there for more than a year, so we don’t mind giving Nuketown Russia some time to breathe on its own too.”

Nuketown Russia was introduced during mid-December to celebrate the holiday season, so we expect it to get replaced after a few more weeks of being in the rotation. After which, they’ll probably switch back to the classic Nuketown.

CoD Mobile devs message on Reddit about Nuketown

At the moment, the developers have not revealed exactly when we’ll see the map return, but as we can expect to hear more soon as we move further away from the winter theme. In the meantime, Season 1 has many other additions for us to enjoy.

The all-new Reclaim map was added to the game as part of the Season’s January 26 launch. There was also some cool loot in the form of a new Battle Pass, weapons, characters, and cosmetics. We’ll be sure to update you whenever they add something new.

Image Credits Activision Blizzard

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