Nintendo “Massively Single Player” Patent Means Something, Probably
Nintendo appears to be looking to bring a new style of gameplay to the online games world as they’ve applied for a patent for a “massively single playing online game.” This has been in Nintendo’s plans for some time now, as it was initially filed for in early 2010.
The idea behind the Nintendo “massively single player” patent is to create a game in which a single person’s actions will change the environment for other players without ever actually interacting with one another. Some examples Nintendo listed included locations changing in appearance, a “friending” system that would allow for direct interaction, and a completely dynamic in-game economy where supply and demand could be impacted. Implementation of this in a Mario game could mean that Mario would single-handedly crash the economy by hoarding the entire supply of coins.
The patent was filed for “a home video console such as the Nintendo Wii 3D video game system, a Nintendo DS or other 3D capable interactive computer graphics display system.” Seeing as the patent was filed before the release of the 3DS, Nintendo clearly was and probably remains to be playing their cards close to their chest. Although it does show that Nintendo really loves 3D.
Similar gameplay styles have been done before in Nintendo’s very own Animal Crossing, and many Facebook and mobile games have interactions between players in a similar fashion. The fact that we haven’t seen an Animal Crossing style game on Facebook is kind of surprising, but it’s probably best not to question Nintendo. They usually seem to know what they’re doing no matter how crazy everyone thinks they are.