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Namco's mini-game loading screen patent is up

Namco no longer has exclusive rights to mini-games in loading screens.

Since 1995, Namco has had exclusive rights to mini-game loading screens. One example of a mini-game loading screen was in the dubious Onechanbara, an action game similar to Dynasty Warrior where bikini-clad women fought hordes of zombies. Needless to say the game was garbage, but it had a clever 2D side-scrolling version of the game you could play during load screens. Namco was able to pull off mini-games in their loading screens for over 20 years.

Until now. As of November 27th, Namco's exclusive patent rights are finally up; thus allowing every other game publisher to encourage mini-game loading screens in future titles by developers.

Mini-game played during Onechanbara load screen

Gone are the days of static load screens, flavor text, or quirky animations. Can you imagine a Fallout 4 loading screen that doesn’t contain rotating 3D-models and pointless lore text but rather a cool mini-game? Developers now have the freedom to make creative loading screens any way they choose. Unless you’re a PC Gamer with an SSD, then you probably haven’t seen a loading screen in quite some time…

What do you guys think of Namco losing its rights to mini-games in loading screens? Sound off on the comments below.

Published Nov. 27th 2015

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