The Nemesis System used in the games Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War is one of the coolest open-world gameplay hooks we’ve ever seen, letting you form rivalries against non-player characters based on your previous actions. If you were hoping other games would implement it, however, that will be a lot harder to do now, as Warner Bros. has patented it.
As spotted by IGN, this week the US Patent and Trademark Office announced that a patent for the Nemesis System would be valid as of February 23. However, the page listing the issuing date is not available online at the moment.
This followed years of attempting to patent the system that went back to shortly after the release of Shadow of Mordor. A filing from 2016 described a system “for managing non-player characters and power centers in a computer game [that] are based on character hierarchies and individualized correspondences between each character’s traits or rank and events that involve other non-player characters or objects.”