Sony's currently catching some flak online for a patent that almost immediately sounds like a bad idea. Registered in January 2020 but approved only recently, the patent outlines a potential PlayStation feature that would allow streamers and their viewers (on streaming websites like Twitch, for example) to either temporarily or permanently remove players from multiplayer games.
The patented and rather detailed flowchart shows the process of spectators deciding to remove (or "bench") players who aren't pulling their weight. Players can also be sent messages telling them to play better, and there's even mention of viewers paying to have people kicked from the game. It all seems to come down to a voting system, which can be influenced by a player's supposed skill level.
Doesn't sound like an abusable system at all, does it?
We've seen Sony register plenty of questionable patents in the past, but the reality is that very few of these ideas become actual products or features. That said, it's no secret that Sony and PlayStation are making moves in the eSports space, and so patents like this are bound to raise a few eyebrows. For now, though, we wouldn't read too much into it.
If this feature does ever come into play, we'd assume that it'll only be used to up the stakes during particular events or streams. We highly doubt that it'd ever get to a point where unknowing players can be kicked from the games that they're playing. Having said that, we all know that online gaming can get a little... toxic, for lack of a better word, and we suppose that it's in these more heated situations that a system like this could just make things worse.