Nintendo is messing around with the online gaming pool again, this time with a crazy patent for a “massively single-player online game.” The patent (which was filed early 2010) explains this idea as – a game in which one player’s actions affect the enviroment for other players, but each are essentially playing a single-player experience. Hmm, very interesting.
Nintendo aims to provide the benefits of online gaming without some of the more common drawbacks – “Those who want to play games that are more dynamic, not based on AI and not-pre-scripted like multiplayer games, however, don’t want to ‘deal’ with other people, appreciate the privacy it provides.”
As single player as they want it to be, it is going to be hard to create an online world and only have one person exploring it without really affecting someone else. Nintendo suggests that players could “gossip” if they have friended eachother, and even interact with one another more regularly. That sound’s pretty “MMO” to me.
Don’t get me wrong, we have seen these gameplay mechanics before. Take a look at the concept to the neighbors in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series. We have also seen single-player game interactions like Demon’s Souls. Mobile games have been using the more popular term “asynchronous multiplayer.” However, knowing Nintendo, something awesome will come out of this, we just have to see how broadly the patent offive interprets Nintendo’s claim to the actual idea, as other companies are more than likely going to jump on the bandwagon.