On Skippable or Unskippable Game Credits

The following is a post I wrote on Reddit:

Hello /r/truegaming,

For nearly three years I’ve been working on an indie game with a close group of friends. Recently one contentious issue has come up in our discussions: credits, or the lack thereof. One of my friends—let’s call him Kabe—is vehemently opposed to the idea of ending credits similar to what you see in films. And I can understand his view here; he believes that because video games are an interactive medium that we do not need to emulate the ‘static’ nature of movie credits.

However, to my surprise, Kabe seems against nearly all forms of credits. (I apologize if he reads this and feels I’m putting words in his mouth or misrepresenting him.) His main points are:

  1. Credits are a waste of time. This is especially true for unskippable credits. I must add here that he seems ok with skippable credits, but more on that later.

  2. Credits would be better placed in the main menu where they are accessible at all times for players who are interested in seeing who did what.

But here is my primary counter-argument: credits are not one-hundred percent for players. I personally believe that if people work together to create a thirty hour or more game then they have the right to stamp their name on their work and say, “Hey, look what I did” Is it egotistical? A little bit, certainly. But I feel it’s justified. If a gamer is willing to play a game that long then I do not give a lot of weight to their argument that three to five minute credits are wasting their time, not after a multi-hour long experience. The other important factor I see in credits is they give players a moment of respite to reflect on what just happened at the end. For example, the credits in Dark Souls 2 are not skippable the first time you beat the game; this gives you time to reflect on the choice you made, where your character will go from there, and so forth. The credits are skippable on every other play-through. But I feel that moment of sitting back and assessing one’s choices and actions are important. Without credits, what should we do? Immediately and jarringly cut back to the main menu directly after the final scene?

So /r/truegaming, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Do you find any merit in credits? Do you feel they waste your time? Are developers being self-important by demanding you see their name with unskippable credits? I’d love to hear any and all thoughts on this issue.

Edit: As I said, I work on a small indie team. I have a question for anyone who works at a large game development company: What would be the reaction if the devs, artist, etc., were told there would be no mandatory chance for players to see their credits because players consider it a waste of time? I’ve wondered if "this would fly" at a place like EA or Valve or Blizzard.

Here are the responses, which are generally not in my favor. Nonetheless, I’d love to hear what you all have to say.

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