In a lot of games, there are intro movies from the various companies. After that there often is a screen which blocks further loading of game assets and asks to press any button. Then it just continues loading the assets.

In Borderlands 2 it looks like in this video.

There you have:

  • NVIDIA
  • Unreal, Scaleform, Wwise
  • This is the autosave symbol
  • Press any button (“Beliebige Taste drücken”)
  • Looking for downloadable files (“Sucht nach Inhalten zum Herunterladen”)
  • Main menu
  • Loading screens
  • Actual game

So I see no reason at all to include this ”press any button” before it connects to the internet and looks for stuff. I mean the main menu is right behind that, so there is no need to make sure the user is ready at this point.

Why do game developers include this screen? It seems to me that it just wastes the user's time.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Assuming that game won't start from your last save-point without an explicit action then you do not need to confirm anything. Then why do you get a useless screen (unless you're seeing a demo) and you have to press a key and then wait again for more loading?

In Good Old Days™ I may suppose they're performing some background loading, if you have to press a key they probably gain few seconds and you will think game loading is faster (you delayed to press the button, game is ready in 2 seconds...)

That's old days, nowadays I'm more attracted about another idea: if you know you have to press a key then there are more chances you watch that advertising.

If you do not need to confirm then there are more chances you start loading and do something else, not even watching that screen until it's ready for playing.

This is a good strategy to catch some more views but intro must not be too long (compared to effective game loading) otherwise users will still navigate away.

On some PC games, this kind of button is often relative to a controller detection, for exemple on FIFA (don't hit me) I can use some different game pads, or a keyboard. The "press any button to continue" will detect my "default" controller and will show the relevant "key" indication next to actions and links in the UI.

  • Okay, that makes sense. I have seen this on Nintento systems and the like. I am not sure Borderlands 2 would make use of that. – Martin Ueding Dec 14 '15 at 10:32
  • it also is for selecting which user (and maybe their storage device) is selected. If you have two controllers plugged in, if player 2 clicks ok, it might make them the primary player. -- XNA/Xbox 360 games use this (msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff433696.aspx for api example) – CobaltHex Dec 17 '15 at 1:37

confirmation of ready-ness is the main reason.

  • 2
    The problem is that the thing is not ready itself. In borderlands it start to download stuff after the confirmation. Once it is done with that, you are in the main menu, where nothing is running away. I do not see the point there – Martin Ueding Dec 5 '15 at 17:46
  • @MartinUeding They probably have some background task running (probably not visible to you.) And if thats not the case, then its just nonsensical. – Shubham Kanodia Dec 6 '15 at 13:48
  • @MartinUeding I don't see the example and I gave you a clear answer about why there is a button before starting or re-starting. – Abektes Dec 6 '15 at 14:26
  • I added a video to my question, hopefully that clears it up. – Martin Ueding Dec 14 '15 at 10:31

I would suggest a mix of both @Adriano Repetti's and @Abektes' answers.

It can be used as a way of forcing the user to pay attention to the video, but it can be used as well to know when the user is ready.


For example, after the video...:

  • ... a map of the area is displayed
  • ... the quest log is updated and shown
  • ... you will enter into a "Tutorial mode" of a new menu

so they give you unlimited time to check, read, memorize, or whatever until you press "X" button.


If you were strictly referring to play the video and immediately play, as @Adriano Repetti has said, it forces the user to "stay there" to continue. But it also creates some kind of immersion too. By making the user say "Ok, continue".

  • All the points you mentioned apply to some games indeed. However, Borderlands 2 has this “press any button” before a load screen that will end up in the main menu, see the video I added to the question. None of the points you mentioned make sense in that particular case. So I still have no real idea why they included that. – Martin Ueding Dec 14 '15 at 10:33

In many games there is a loading time and many users are not prepared when it done. Then, by pressing any key, they confirm to be ready.

  • 2
    But the key press is before the loading. See the video I added to the question. – Martin Ueding Dec 14 '15 at 10:31

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