That's it, the internet is on fire. Let it all burn down until Rocket League is the only surviving online game.
"This was a exploratory patent filed in 2015 by an R&D team working independently from our game studios," an Activision spokesperson tells Glixel. "It has not been implemented in-game."
The patent, which focuses on how matchmaking works, was granted this month and seems focused on FPS titles, although the concept, at least, has great potential to stretch far further.
The article goes on to give examples such as somebody who the system identifies as aspiring be be a sniper in-game being matched with a more elite sniper, likely armed with purchasable gear in the hopes that said gear will become a tempting purchase.
It then goes one step further should said theoretical player buy a new sniper rifle - the game will then place him or her in a matchup that will make the purchase feel empowering and a good value, subtly laying an openness to buying more smaller items in the future.
We will no doubt see marketing spin on this in the coming weeks if the story speads enough, but at its core it's difficult to see any way in which this isn't a bad thing. The best I can do is that maybe new players will be guided to role-model team mates? It seems like a stretch and I have next to no doubt that this will basically end up being a case of players who don't pay up getting squashed in online matches until they do (or become very, very good).
Effectively, as a personal take, this whole concept is deeply troubling, and a clear stepping over the line between a cosmetic 'tip jar' approach to microtransactions right into straight-up affecting the quality of the game experience to influence you to spend more money.