According to newly found records from 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment has patented its own eSports betting scheme. Sony has not deployed the device (and has not revealed any intentions to do so) as of this writing, however by keeping the patent, the firm is holding on to the prospect.
This is the newest Sony foray; just a few weeks ago, it was announced that Sony had invented an AI that could imitate player action. The video game industry has been extremely aggressive in recent months, with a number of high-profile acquisitions and trademarks dominating the news cycle, and it appears that this trend is continuing.
Sony recently filed patents for its own proprietary eSports betting platform, according to Patent Scope (via VGC). According to the patent, the app must calculate the chances of one or more bets based on prior data from professional athletes and/or clubs, and then show those bets to players.
“Simple bets on one side or the other winning the simulation; overall and individual point scores; over-under bets,” according to the patent, or “a vast variety of more complex bets, such as whether a character will be ‘killed’ in the next X minutes.”
Sony’s network will embrace and pay out a variety of currencies, including cash and cryptocurrency, as well as gaming properties, digital rights, and virtual currency. The full patent contains even more detail that demonstrates how far Sony’s propositions will go, providing bettors with a plethora of options to wager on, adding to the increasingly growing wave of eSports betting.
After the patents were first awarded (in 2019), a study alleging that eSports betting was triggering a gambling problem among young people has been released, but the phenomenon continues to be prevalent across various professional gaming tournaments. Gambling in and around video games has become increasingly profitable, much to the chagrin of gamers.
For example, it was discovered in April that EA was encouraging FIFA players to purchase more loot boxes at the detriment of the game’s other modes. That story was just one such example, but in reality, the practice is present in other franchises as well.
Several jurisdictions around the world have launched inquiries into loot boxes and video game gambling in general, while others, such as Belgium, have outright outlawed loot boxes and other types of gaming gambling. Perhaps this growing backlash is why Sony hasn’t used its eSports betting site yet, but who’s to say it won’t change in the future?