U.S. Patent no. 9,682,314: Method and system for temporarily incentivizing user participation in a game space

Issued June 20, 2017 to Electronic Arts Inc.
Priority Date June 14, 2013

U.S. Patent No. 9,682,314 (the ‘314 Patent) relates to awards and incentive systems in video games. Many video games feature events where the player is incentivized to progress over one or more metrics. These include earning more of a specific resource or earning experience points or other in-game objectives. Certain gameplay mechanics may be temporarily increased to further encourage completion of in-game activities. These gameplay mechanics may also be linked with achievements. Users may earn achievements by completing in-game missions and quests or by interacting with other activities within a video game. During an in-game event these tracked metrics for achievements may be further increased to incentivize completing missions or may be limited in time to increase the prestige and incentives of earning the limited achievement. Rewards may then be distributed to those players who showed the largest increases in select metrics during the event. These aspects of the ‘314 Patent function to increase engagement in video games as well as increasing content available to play by incentivizing certain game activities.

A system and method for temporarily altering the determination of gameplay metric values in a game space, and distributing awards based on the relative change in gameplay metric values during the temporary time.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A system for providing offers in a game space, the system comprising: one or more processors configured by machine-readable instructions to: execute an instance of a shared game space that is common to users, and to implement the instance to facilitate the presentation of views of the shared game space to the users, wherein the shared game space is configured to facilitate interaction of the users with the shared game space and each other by performing operations in the shared game space in response to commands received from the users; determine gameplay metric values of a gameplay metric for users, wherein the gameplay metric values quantify achievement within the shared game space such that a first gameplay metric value determined for a first user quantifies achievement of the first user in the shared game space; alter determinations of the gameplay metric values during an event time period such that, during the event time period, the determination of the gameplay metric values is altered to magnify the impact of achievement in the shared game space; and determine, based on the relative increases in the gameplay metric values of the users during the event time period, awards to be provided to the individual users, wherein the awards include virtual items to be distributed for use in the shared game space such that a first award is determined to be provided to a first user based on a comparison of an increase in the game play metric value of the first user during the event time period in with increases in the game play metric values of the other users during the event time period.