The purchase of the EVO wrestling tournament does not seem to be Sony’s only target in the esports landscape, although it may end up being the least controversial of the plans on the horizon. Especially if this patent for a betting platform finally ends up being developed.
Registered last May 13 – though filed in late 2019 – by Michael Chow, one of PlayStation’s machine learning engineers, the patent description talks about a betting odds system intended to provide information to the viewer for pecuniary or non-pecuniary bets.
This is what Sony’s esports betting patent looks like
The idea is that, in advance, the user can access virtual simulations on the odds of winning with their next bet, for example by reviewing statistics, simulations, and previous games to discern whether or not a grenade can take out three enemies.
From there the platform would determine what the chances are of that happening from that moment until the end of the game and would allow the user to place the bet with different options such as, for example, withdrawing the prize in advance by reducing the income or even placing mutual bets (bets placed by several bettors in a common pool that is subsequently distributed in proportion to the amount wagered).
With regard to the possibility of making pecuniary or non-pecuniary bets, it is implied that, as with games such as CS: GO, there is the possibility of betting with in-game items instead of real money, although unlike, in that case, this possibility is also raised on the platform.
As with other company patents, the registered information does not necessarily imply that Sony has initiated the development of the idea or that it intends to do so, but it does mean that it has secured this possibility against possible competitors.
For the moment neither Sony nor PlayStation has publicly shown their intention to develop a betting platform for esports, a move that would undoubtedly generate a lot of controversies as it has done on other platforms or with the problem of loot boxes.