The Summer Drought Doesn’t Have To Happen, You Know
We’re going to keep on asking every year until publishers relent: please stop releasing everything at the end of the year.
We’re just about in silly season. In the next few weeks we’ll see the release of Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and a fair few others that haven’t jumped straight into my head.
Basically, there are a lot of what look to be great games coming out in the very near future. And it’s the same thing every year.
So it raises the same question every year: why? There’s the obvious reason: this time of year is the build-up to Christmas, meaning more fabulous moolah (not the deceased female wrestler) can be made.
But then there’s the counter-argument that games can be bought at any time of the year, and just because it doesn’t come out in the Christmas rush doesn’t mean it won’t sell. See: Mass Effect 2, BioShock etc.
But the biggest reason for publishers to release games at a steady flow throughout the year is twofold: one, so I don’t get bored during the summer with a complete lack of interesting new releases to talk about, write about and play. And two, so my Pile Of Shame doesn’t suddenly grow exponentially at the end of the year, like it does every year.
If games came out at more staggered, reasonable times, I would have happily played through the likes of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, Rage and Resistance 3. Instead they’ve all come at the point just before a ton of major releases, Dark Souls and FIFA 12, so they’re unlikely to get the look in they deserve. Instead they’ll languish, half-played and forgotten on my coffee table, consigned to the exact same status as the stains on that very table: forgotten.
I’m not saying those games are stains, by the way. I really want to give them the time, but I can’t.
Maybe some day publishers will release their games at a more consistent rate through the year. Maybe…