Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’s Villain-Generating Nemesis System Could Soon Be Patented by Warner Bros.

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Image: Monolith Productions

Warner Bros. and Monolith Productions’ action-adventure Middle-earth titles, Shadow of Mordor (2014) and Shadow of War (2017), feature an interesting gameplay mechanic called the Nemesis System that generates unique enemies and adjusts their difficulty/skill sets depending on how well players are able to combat them throughout the open-world games. According to a patent highlighted in a video by Game Maker’s Toolkit elaborating on the beauty of the “villain generator,” Warner Bros. may be close to patenting the Nemesis System so it can be used exclusively by Monolith Productions and other studios under its WB Games banner.

“The patent, originally filed back in March 2016, is dubbed ‘Nemesis characters, nemesis forts, social vendettas and followers in computer games,’ and is now assigned to Warner Bros Entertainment Inc,” Eurogamer explained in its coverage. “Its current status is listed as ‘pending,’ but there’s reason to believe the application will be granted.”

“According to the patent listing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a final rejection in November 2019. But Warner Bros stuck to its guns, and in October 2020 a ‘Notice of Allowance’ was issued. This indicates Warner was able to overcome the rejections, and the USPTO believes the invention qualifies for a patent.”

You can check out the 37-page document on this Google Patents page, which includes a deep dive into how the critically acclaimed Nemesis System works. The Nemesis System was last seen in 2017’s Middle-earth: Shadow of War, but WB Games is rumored to be introducing it into future titles for hit franchises such as Batman and Harry Potter.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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