Namco’s ‘mini-game during loading’ patent has finally expired

Expect plenty of mini games during long loading sequences thanks to a patent that Namco has held for 20 years expiring.

Many gamers who played titles like Ridge Racer will remember sitting through mini games while the main game was loading but now anyone can have a go.

Other companies, such as EA, have managed to circumnavigate the patent with mini versions of the main game, such as in the recent Star Wars Battlefront where you got to play as Vader while waiting for parts of the game to install, but now it’s a free-for-all.

In a way, though, it’s side-stepping the main issue; why in this day and age do we have to wait so long for a game to load?  Having just come from playing Just Cause 3 I can certainly testify that waiting around for loading is really something that should be left in the past, mini-games or not.

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