A recently resurfaced patent has revealed the reason why Namco Bandai titles are the only titles to have mini-games in their loading screens.
The patent filed way back in 1995 allows Namco Bandai to run an “auxiliary game” (or mini-game) whilst players are faced with the much loathed loading screens. Examples of this include the shortened Galaxian stage in the original Ridge Racer and a video game based on an early 3-D Namco space flyer StarBlade in Tekken 5.
This system was implemented as “Unnecessary wastage of time can be prevented by first loading the smaller, auxiliary game program code into the games machine, before the main-game program code is loaded, then loading the main-game program code while the auxiliary game is running.”
Non-Namco titles such as FIFA and Bayonetta have contained similar gameplay features in their loading screens, such as one-on-one vs the goalie gameplay and combo practice. These features are already built into the games coding and aren’t “auxillary games” so don’t breach the patent.
Patents typically expire 20 years after they are originally filed so from November 27th 2015, we could be seeing more mini-games appearing in loading screens across all publishers.
What games would you like to see with an interactive loading screen, and what would it be? Let us know in the comments below.