When Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor was launched at the beginning of last generation, its main differential was the excellent system called “Nemesis System”. At the time, many people expected other developers to try to copy the idea created by Monolith, thanks to its potential for richer stories throughout the adventure.
But, except for a less expansive version of this system seen through the Mercenaries present in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, no game came very close to what is seen in Shadows of Mordor / da Guerra. Now, the reason for this seems to have been revealed.
The Game Maker’s Toolkit YouTube channel posted a new video yesterday exploring how the Nemesis System works and how it creates its stories. In the middle of the video, it was revealed that the system created by Monolith was patented by WB Games, as can be seen through this document available online.
Thus, it is very likely that the reason for this system not being copied is quite simple: other developers are avoiding implementing something similar for fear of possible legal sanctions that the WB may seek against them.
Perhaps most surprisingly, even though rumors have appeared online for years, other WB Games games have not used this patent to their advantage. So, unless Monolith decides to use them in its next games, it is unlikely that we will see something as well implemented as that seen in games in the Middle-earth series.