The Kickstand Episode 1 – Now Loading

What is the Kickstand? It’s a gaming show pilot that I’m hoping we will evolve over time. It will run between 15-30 minutes and hopefully bring up interesting topics of discussion, ideas, rants and maybe even humor related to the games industry. We’re starting off this week with a single segment, but over time I hope it will be expanded upon. For now, let’s discuss this week’s topic, game load times.

It’s something of a pet peeve of mine, and I’ve heard it from others many a time. I’m focusing on a specific point this time around though. Not on overall load times, but the sheer amount of time it take to get from launching the game disc to the title screen, and from there to actually playing the game. I ran an experiment with a few games and you can see the results in the table at the end of the article.

I am not going to speculate on the why’s of the boot time, but I can say that most of these games share many of the same licenses and technologies. Some games omit credits during the title sequence entirely, and others drag on and on. Some games are hampered by publisher/developer added “services”. Others are hampered by long load times after the title screen. The end result is the same, some very annoying waits between popping your disc in, and actually getting to play the game. The video further elaborates on some of these points as well and give you an idea of what the wait is like.

Game To Title To Play Total
Dishonored 42 23 65
Borderlands 40 24 64
Assassin’s Creed III 42 60 102
Halo 4 67 118 185
Crysis 2 39 51 90
Mass Effect 2 38 37 75
Lost Odyssey 20 36 56
Skyrim 34 70 104

NOTE: These games were not installed and were chosen completely at random. This is by no means scientific, just a random sampling of titles. All were loaded on an Xbox 360.


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