In the business of video games, intellectual property is critical to success, and Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks are the bricks with which your IP portfolio is built. The Patent Arcade is the web’s primary resource for video game IP law, news, cases, and commentary.

U.S. Patent No. 9,704,350: Musical Combat Game

Issued July 11, 2017, to Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Priority Date March 14, 2013

Call of Duty: Rock Band. U.S. Patent No. 9,704,350 (the ‘350 Patent) describes a technique for creating a first person shooter game but with the game mechanics of rock band. The ‘350 Patent describes a game like Halo or Call of Duty, but the player has to hit the buttons in time with the music to move around or to shoot. In 2014, Harmonix was developing Chroma, a game that utilized the method described in the '350 Patent, but after a closed alpha test, Harmonix decided to cancel the game. Other games, like Crypt of the Necrodancer, have used rhythm-based movement mechanics with relative success.

A computerized technique for use with a game console, the technique including providing, using the game console, a combat video game that includes a weapon, providing, using the game console, and an audiovisual system, music as a player plays the video game, analyzing, using the game console, at least one of i) the music, and ii) metadata relating to the music, to determine a property, and controlling the operation of weapon, using the game console, as a function of the property.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A non-transitory computer readable medium including computer readable instructions that, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to: provide a shooter combat video game having an on-screen character with a weapon situated in a virtual world, in which a player controls when the on-screen character triggers the weapon; provide music as the player plays the video game; analyze at least one of i) the music, and ii) metadata relating to the music, to determine a timing parameter related to the music; and cause the on-screen character to fire projectiles from the weapon, wherein firing the projectiles comprises varying a parameter of the projectiles fired from the weapon as a function of the timing parameter.


Enter your email address to be notified about new posts (average 1-2 emails/wk).

Lawsuit Updates

View All

Patent Spotlight

View All

Read the Book!

The Patent Arcade’s editors also have literally written the book on video game law. Get your copy today!

Latest News

Read More

Follow Us On
The Web’s Best IP Law Resources
Recognized By


The information on this site is provided for informative and educational use only and should not be relied on as legal advice.  No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of you reading our blog.  Always consult an attorney if you need specific legal guidance.