The patent which has prevented any other developer creating their own loading screen games has finally expired after 20 years; and now anyone can create their own Loading Screen styled games without issues; that is if they want to of course!
Namco, now-a-days known as Bandai Namco Entertainment, originally filed the patent on the 27th November 1995, 2 years after their massively successful Ridge Racer featured a version of Galaxians in its loading screen and since then numerous Namco related games have featured some form of a Loading Screen Game. I’m not sure what threat they felt from other developers who may have wanted to infuse their own games with loading screen jaunts, but whatever it was it was enough for the Japanese developer to put an embargo on the practice for two decades.
Of course with the Patent expiring it now means that ‘any developer can add a Loading Screen Game to their title. If you want to have a really wacky crazy evening with your friends, try reading the whole patent for yourself, just make sure you have plenty to drink to ease your suffering; the patent itself can be viewed here.
This also means that no longer do we have to see ridiculous tips such as ‘you will survive longer if you don’t get shot’ while waiting for future games, such as Resident Evil 8, 9, XZ, etc to load up its next doorway to hell. We might instead be lucky to see Mega Man / Street Fighter / 1942! Let’s be honest, if Resident Evil 8 ends up being as bad as what 6 was, it could be more than a pleasant diversion.
On a related note, i’ve no idea how FIFA has gotten away with its ‘kickabout’ sub-game all these years.
Follow Carl on Twitter: @auto2112