Loading Screen Mini-Games Now Available After Namco Patent Expires

by on December 3, 2015

Soon, gamers will no longer have to tap their feet or check their phones in boredom while stuck at a loading screen: developers are now able to add mini-games to help keep players entertained as they wait.

Previously, developers were unable to add such content due to a twenty-year-old patent held by Namco for the original Ridge Racer, released way back in 1994. The patent, filed in 1995, let gamers play Galaga while Ridge Racer was loading. Eurogamer reports that the patent expired on November 27, allowing all other studios to now freely add mini-games to their titles.

Develop reports that some studios have managed to find away around this patent: most recently Nintendo by introducing a Doodle Jump-style game during the loading screens of Splatoon and a tile-matching puzzle while waiting on the eShop to open.