Thursday, December 13, 2012

SEGA's Patent Cripples the Future of DS and 3DS Gaming

In case you have not heard, SEGA is suing Level 5, makers of great games such as Dragon Quest VIII, the Professor Layton series, and the Inazuma Eleven series. The latter is what they are being sued ever, more specifically the latest DS incarnation. Level 5 has been using a certain control scheme since 2008 that SEGA now has a patent for, but that patent was approved in 2009, so if you are worried about the future of Level 5, don't worry, SEGA doesn't really have a case. What you should be worried about is the future of gaming on Nintendo's current handhelds.

You see, SEGA's patent is for controlling the movement of characters with the touch screen, a staple of the Inazuma Eleven series and many other games. After SEGA fails to sue Level 5, which they will, they are likely to hunt down lesser prey. Developments studios as a whole could be shut down and their games could be pulled off of the shelf for simply utilizing dual-screen gameplay to its max potential. Most importantly, developers will fear to use such a control scheme in the future, which is especially unfortunate considering how well it works on the DS and 3DS.

This is just one of the patents SEGA has that restricts the usage of a touch screen to control character movement.

There have been many games that use the touch screen to move your character and often this works well. It is truly a shame that SEGA is now preventing anyone else from making great use of the features available to them by Nintendo's revolutionary dual-screen handhelds. Hopefully one day a court will realize how unjust this patent really is.


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