U.S. Patent No. 10,427,047: Identifying player engagement to generate contextual game play assistance

Issued October 1, 2019 to Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC
Priority Date: January 8, 2018

U.S. Patent No. 10,427,047 (the ’047 Patent) relates to identifying where and when a video game player is struggling and providing the player with assistance. The ’047 Patent details a system that obtains user gameplay information to analyze the player’s performance to determine if the player is struggling with an event, obstacle, challenge, etc., and provide assistance information to help the player progress in the game. The user may set preferences for performance thresholds for when they want to be given assistance, as well as preferences for the type or extent of assistance information. For example, hints may be given if a player’s frustration level meets the threshold for hints, and if the player’s performance indicates a further increase in frustration, more detailed assistance may be provided to help the player overcome the event, obstacle, challenge, etc. The threshold assistance information may be determined based on how the user’s performance compares to that of other players who faced the same event, obstacle, challenge, etc. 

The present disclosure describes methods and systems directed towards identifying player engagement to generate contextual game play assistance. User gameplay information is monitored so that the user can be provided assistance within the video game where the user may have problems. User gameplay information is monitored in order to identify what type(s) of assistance could be provided to the user. The information can be based on the current level of frustration of the user with the video game.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A system for engagement-based contextual game play assistance, the system comprising: a first party platform device that obtains gameplay data regarding a user that is currently participating in an in-game event within an identified game, and wherein the gameplay data indicates repeated failure in the in-game event; an assistance server that stores assistance information associated with one or more games, the stored assistance information for the identified game including different assistance information for different performance levels associated with the in-game event; and a performance server that: receives the gameplay data from the first party platform device, identifies a user performance level by comparing the received gameplay data to one or more pre-determined thresholds corresponding to the different performance levels, instructs the assistance server to provide the assistance information identified as corresponding to the identified user performance level, monitors subsequent gameplay data regarding the user from the first party platform device, wherein the subsequent gameplay data indicates that the user has overcome the in-game event after the assistance information was provided, identifies a subsequent user performance level from the subsequent gameplay data, and modifies a user profile associated with the user, the user profile storing a performance level trend that is modified to include the subsequent user performance level after the assistance information was provided.