Konami’s Beatmania patent has expired after 20 years, according to Japanese news sources.
20 long years ago, Konami introduced to the world Beatmania, essentially giving birth to the music rhythm genre of games. Beatmania has proved to be incredibly successful and due to Konami making sure to patent specific aspects of the game, developer’s have been unable to use of certain sound effects and files in other that closely resemble Beatmania. Recently, this patent has expired, effectively opening up the potential more creative titles within the genre.
— あおこめ（11/14東方発表会オンライン1.5） (@blue_comment) January 20, 2018
July 31, 1998, marked the beginning of when Konami’s patent went into effect — according to various Japanese news outlets, Konami’s patent has finally expired. The implications of the patent expiring give designers a greater level of flexibility when creating music rhythm titles. For instance, Konami’s patent specifically prevented sounds effects and lights to trigger when pushed down, something that would be applicable in an arcade setup.
Konami has filed other patents over the years regarding their innovations in the arcade, making it hard to pinpoint on what exactly on what restrictions are still in place, but regardless, it will be interesting to see how developer’s take advantage of this new opening in the music-game genre.
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