Ahh you mean it is some kind of captcha? I didn’t think about that, but it would make sense.
In Ingress there is none and the chat is flooded with bots trying to sell stuff. But I think this is a case where coincidence is mistaken for correlation, as there is just no point in bots spamming the game at its early stage. There is kinda nothing to win for them.
And regarding the splash screen: I do like the way it looks and sounds, just not the fact that it has to be skipped manually. Maybe show it for 2 seconds or something? Or as you suggested an option. Just something…
EDIT: What I just came up with: Why not make it the loading screen?