Hello! I have a question about cutscenes. How does a decision get made about whether a cutscene can be skipped or not? I know some games have certain skipable cutscenes and others unskippable, and that in HD remakes of old games developers will sometimes add the ability to skip them. Do these decisions tend to be story-motivated or is there commonly a background mechanical reason to force a cutscene to play fully through?

Cinematics are mostly for storytelling purposes, but they also hid a very real secondary purpose - we would do a lot of game setup during cinematics, like streaming data off of a physical disc while the cinematic is playing so that we can load what comes next. If we need to load a bunch of assets, it's much better to hide that in a cinematic than pop up a loading screen or force a decompression area like a tight locked corridor to hide the new environment popping in. This kind of thing is less important now that we can install the full game to the hard drive and most gaming devices are now running SSDs, but it was a real concern before ~2012 or so when we still needed to read data from optical drives.

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