Shortly after Microsoft released its Xbox 360 HD update to Halo: Combat Evolved — a game which allowed players to seamlessly switch between the original game’s graphics and the update — the company filed a patent for games “having a plurality of game engines.” That patent filing just got published today, and it seemingly attempts to specifically lock down the concept of gaming classics being re-released in an updated form while also allowing longtime fans to switch between the original game and the update.
Microsoft-owned Halo developer 343 Industries is at the forefront of the filing, with executive producer Daniel Ayoub’s name listed first and two other 343 employees rounding out the list. The description of the patent does allow for some flexibility. “A game having a plurality of engines is described. In one or more implementations, a computing device displays an output of a first engine of a game by a computing device. An input is received by the computing device to switch from the output of the first engine of the game to an output of a second engine of the game, the first and second engines being executed concurrently by the computing device,” it reads. However, later on in the filing, it specifically speaks to “remakes of games” that “attempt to captivate their audiences by leveraging emotions associated with the initial game.” Certainly a blunt way to put that, eh?