In the digital age, some people might want to know what will happen to their accounts and in-game items after their death. Tencent might just have an answer to this question, now that it has obtained a new potent that allows inheriting digital assets.
The patent, originally filed in March 2019, was spotted by Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad on July 12. It was finally obtained earlier this month.
“As we move towards a more digital world, the idea of virtual asset inheritance has become more important among aging netizens who have long standing online/game accounts with many digital items,” Ahmad explained.
Tencent obtained a patent this month, originally filed in 2019, that relates to the inheritance of digital items and assets after a person passes away.
While not fully related to video games, it has sparked discussions online about game accounts / virtual item inheritance. pic.twitter.com/ltmtFYndId
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 12, 2021
According to the patent’s description, the new technology will supply “information processing methods, and related devices in the inheritance and transfer of digital asset certificates.” It’s still unknown how exactly it will work, but users would probably have to upload their wills to a special app or directly to a game. That’s how another person would get a chance to inherit digital items.
Ahmad compares Tencent’s patent to a technology recently announced by Apple, which will let people assign an administrator to access their accounts after their death. However, the Chinese company also allows transferring certain assets to other accounts.
Tencent itself hasn’t commented on the patent yet. So it’s hard to say whether the company is planning to integrate this technology into its games.