Note to Publishers: Not ALL Games Need a Holiday Release

This year's schedule is so ridiculously lopsided. Things should be better balanced.

Yes, I get it.

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If you have a super big game, you want it to launch around the holidays, because it has the best chance of flourishing during that time period. I also understand that given the rising development costs, publishers are less interested in taking risks than ever before.

But I mean, come on. Have you seen what’s on tap for the summer months? There’s next to nothing that registers high on the anticipation meter. In fact, after May, it’s hard to find anything all that interesting until September. The Evil Within is set for the end of August and that’s about it, in my estimation.

I’m referring specifically to highly anticipated, relatively big-budget games, by the way. Let’s make that clear.

The summers are typically SO barren

It’s pretty standard. Very rarely do large releases land during the summer months. There are two obvious reasons for this: 1. There are no major buying holidays between the June and August period, and 2. There’s every opportunity to go outside; people don’t have to be stuck inside, as they often are during the winter months. It’s perfectly logical.

At the same time, to have absolutely nothing during this stretch is a little disconcerting. It’s especially troublesome when we’re talking about a brand new generation, and two new consoles are trying to forge a path. Yeah, both have started off quite well and the industry has rebounded from a terrible 2013 as a result. However, if nobody buys anything during the summer months, it’ll feel a little like a regression.

I suppose everyone will just lie in wait for the explosive holiday season but in the meantime, what are we gonna play?

The upside to a drought

If you want to be optimistic about it, there is a positive side to the summer drought: It lets us catch up. Not everyone can play every single game they want the instant it arrives. It’s all the more difficult when so many titles are bigger than ever; open-world formats are becoming more and more popular, and not everyone can finish such games in a matter of weeks. Then again, if you consider it from the publisher’s viewpoint, maybe a drought is the perfect time to release a big game.

There’s virtually no competition.

That would be huge in my eyes, even if it isn’t the quintessential “buying season.” On top of which, even though gamers will want the opportunity to catch up, I can guarantee that most will forego the catch-up process for a shiny new game. Maybe publishers should consider this…


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Fathoms_4209
A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.