U.S. Patent No. 10,449,440: Interactive voice-controlled companion application for a video game

Issued October 22, 2019 to Electronic Arts Inc.
Priority Date: June 30, 2017

U.S. Patent No. 10,449,440 (the ’440 Patent) relates to using voice commands in video games. The ’440 Patent details a method of using a companion application to identify an utterance (one or more spoken words) by a user and determine what command the utterance corresponds to. The method further includes performing the action from the commanded utterance in the video game. In some embodiments, the corresponding video game and a user’s account for that video game may be identified and loaded to execute the uttered command. These commands given by an utterance may allow a user to interact with a portion of a video game without actually having to open the video game on their device and manually play. This may include the companion application enabling a user to travel to a location within the video game, buy or sell digital items, etc. The companion application may be less resource intensive than the video game itself and able to run on a wider variety of devices–enabling users to interact with the video game when they do not have access to their usual device, such as at work. 

Using voice recognition, a user can interact with a companion application to control a video game from a mobile device. Advantageously, the user can interact with the companion application when the video game is unavailable because, for example, of the user’s location. Moreover, machine learning may be used to facilitate generating voice responses to user utterances that are predicted to improve or maintain a user’s level of engagement with the companion application, or its corresponding video game.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A computer-implemented method comprising: as implemented by an interactive computing system configured with specific computer-executable instructions, receiving an utterance from a user computing device, the utterance comprising one or more spoken words associated with a video game and spoken by a user; determining an utterance classification for the utterance; and responsive to determining that the utterance classification corresponds to a command: determining the command referenced by the utterance; determining the video game associated with the command, the video game one of a plurality of video games; identifying a user account associated with the user; identifying a host system associated with the video game and the user account, the host system configured to host at least a first portion of an instance of the video game; loading a user game account associated with the user account at the host system; and executing the command on behalf of the user with respect to the user game account of the user at the host system without the user accessing the video game.