U.S. Patent no. 9,561,433: Providing event rewards to players in an online game

Issued February 7, 2017 to Kabam, Inc. (later assigned to Electronic Arts Inc.)
Priority Date August 8, 2013

U.S. Patent No. 9,561,433 (the ‘433 Patent) relates to distributing event rewards in an online video game. Events and competitions may be created in online games. Based on the number of points or other metrics acquired by a player, rewards will be distributed to those who ranked highly in an event. These rewards can take the form of bonus secondary game content not available to those who did not participate in the event or any other reward features available. These rewards could even take the form of virtual or real currency. A time limit for accepting the rewards can also be implemented. In order to do well in a given online game, a player may spend real or virtual currency to attain in-game items. The ability to then reward those who place highly in these online games can further the monetization opportunities for the game’s provider. The computer system will hold the online event and also keep track of player parameters before and after competing in order to rank the participants. The ‘433 Patent can increase engagement and playtime of a game by providing new opportunities for competitive gameplay. This also can extend a video game’s lifespan because players will be drawn to the prospect of rewards for their gameplay.

A system and method for providing event rewards within an online game are disclosed. A secondary game may be provided to facilitate players to win awards provided by the secondary game. The secondary game may be exclusive to players who achieve ranks in an event at the end of event period. Individual rewards may be determined based on such player ranks. The individual rewards may include a quantity of free turns to play the secondary game, a quantity of optional turns to play the secondary game in exchange for consideration from the ranked players and/or other reward features. Notification may be presented to the ranked players notifying the optional turns must be acquired by the players before a point of time or else they will be offered to lower ranked players.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A system for rewarding players participating in events within an online game, the system comprising one or more processors configured by machine-readable instructions to: execute an instance of online game, to implement the instance of the online game by receiving commands over a network from client computing platforms and executing the commands in the instance of the online game to facilitate player participation in the online game, and to facilitate presentation of the online game on the client computing platforms by causing displays associated with the client computing platforms to present views of the online game; manage player accounts associated with individual players of the online game, the individual player accounts containing player parameters, wherein the player accounts include a first player account associated with a first player, the first player account containing a first set of player parameters associated with the first player; selectively provide access to the players of a secondary game to facilitate player turns in the secondary game, and for an individual turn in the secondary game, to: obtain a set of potential awards and a set of award probabilities for the set of potential awards, the individual awards including virtual items usable in the online game; stochastically or quasi-stochastically, select one of the potential awards as an actual award for distribution based on the award probabilities; and effectuate distribution of the actual award in the online game; run events within the online game, wherein the events include a first event that runs for a first event period; rank the players based on changes in one or more of the player parameters during the first event period such that the first player achieves a first rank at the end of the first event period; and determine rewards for the players for the events run based on the ranks achieved by the players as determined such that a first reward is determined for the first player for achieving the first rank at the end of the first event period, the first reward including a first quantity of player turns of the secondary game to be provided to the first player for free and a second quantity of player turns of the secondary game to be provided to the first player in exchange for consideration from the first player, whereby access to turns of the secondary game for the first player are limited to the first quantity and the second quantity.