Sony Interactive Entertainment recently issued a patent that would use blockchain technology to track digital assets in the game to replicate the rarity of items signed by celebrities and sports icons in real life.
The patent was first filed in 2021 and only came back to the public in November of this year. Sony is a Japanese multinational conglomerate. The company is best known for its iconic game consoles, the PlayStation, as well as a variety of other technology products such as televisions, phones, cameras and more.
The blockchain patent is titled Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens On a Distributed Ledger. It points to the use of terms like “blockchain”, “record digital media assets” and “distributed ledger”, all of which are highly synonymous with NFTs and blockchain.
NFTs are non-fungible tokens stored on the blockchain with a unique signature. They are currently used in various Web3 applications to ensure authenticity and user ownership. This digital asset is considered extremely profitable and is expected to generate over $250 million in revenue by 2021.
What does it mean?
For most people, this patent could mean yet another game company moving to Web3. Yet the technology it pursues is different from others. There are a few peculiarities to consider when uncovering this patent application.
First the obvious. It shows that Sony is very interested in pursuing the NFT art and NFT gaming space, even though the company has tried to distance itself from it in the past. Sony differentiates its latest PlayStation Stars rewards program from NFTs on the grounds that they cannot be traded or sold for a profit.
Since then, the entertainment and media giant has taken deliberate steps to venture into Web3. In May 2022, Sony began a partnership with Theta Labs to release a 3D NFT collection. PlayStation has also asked customers what kind of NFTs they would like to buy, suggesting that the company might offer its own collection for its gaming console in the future.
In addition, the patent describes a technology that can be used to track the history of an element in the game. The company says it wants to bring the rarity of “Babe Ruth’s Autographed Baseballs” to the GameFi world. This means we may see NFT skins or items that have a digital footprint of a famous esports gamer or streamer.
Depending on which side of the fence you’re on, this can be either unsettling or an exciting financial prospect. For companies, the chance for their collaborating esports players or streamers like Ninja or Pokimane to add their digital footprint to the skin of Fortnite means a new profitable business.
But as the public shows, this could also mean more opportunities for customers to purchase expensive in-game items. The idea is that users will be able to use the exact gun that Dr. Disrespect uses in his streams, but it might not be for everyone, especially since it might mean staying away from a number of expensive digital items.
Edmond is a passionate writer for video games, GameFi and Web3. He has worked for leading GameFi companies and video game/crypto news sites.