The Reason Loading Screens Are So Boring Is Going Away This Friday
Loading screens are the worst. Even though we know they’re a necessary evil, I think we all wish that they offered just a little bit more. Sometimes we get lucky and there’s something to keep you entertained while you wait but we can’t always be that lucky.
There’s a reason for this, and luckily it is about to expire.
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On the 27th of November 1995 Namco, who are now part of Bandai Namco, filed US patent number 5718632 and this is the source of all our troubles. It’s a little unfair to say it’s the source of our troubles though, considering it is actually the solution.
In the 90s Namco came up with an idea to help the time pass by, by implementing mini games that could be played during the loading screen. This was such a wonderful idea that Namco decided patent it, making sure they profit off anyone else who wanted to give their players something to do.
This Friday marks 20 years since the patent was filed, which means it will be thankfully expiring. This means that developers will be free to give us fun little distractions during some of those incredibly boring loading screens.
To celebrate this momentous occasion a game jam is being hosted in order for devs to explore this uncharted territory. The Loading Screen Jam invites participants to create interactive loading screens that will be judged according to the loading screens themselves as well as their commentary on patents.
As someone who doesn’t have the most powerful PC and has had to endure some pretty lengthy loading screens for Fallout 4, I only wish this expired sooner. I would have much rather have been playing Red Menace than just waiting.