Why always September?
So here we are in September and the flow of AAA titles is about to be ramped up. It starts with Destiny 2. Something i am actually quite excited for (but haven’t pre ordered) and continues to mid November every year. The steady flow of games that get released in the build up to the holiday season is huge. The question i have is why?
So let’s start with what im talking about Destiny 2 i already mentioned, but to follow up we have Knack 2, Pes 2018, NBA 2k18, Dishonored Death of an Outsider, Fifa 18, Forza 7, Middle Earth Shadow of War, The Evil Within 2, South Park The Fractured But Whole, Assassins Creed Origins, Wolfenstein 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Call of Duty WWII, Star Wars Battlefront. I am sure i have missed some but these were the ones in my head and they all release between the 6th september and the 20 of November. Now granted we can explain away the sports games they have to be released at the start of new seasons to be relevant and catch the hype. But why all the others?
Can the answer really be as simple as Christmas? Well i guess yes… Otherwise why would you put your game up against this lot. Even the most well off gamer is going to struggle to fund their hobby when they see the list, and even if they could when would they find time to play them all?
So let’s examine why Christmas, well the obvious reason is the sheer money that is thrown around in the name of the little baby Jesus. Parents seeking to appease their little angels with the game or games of their choice. They walk into a game store with no idea what they are looking for and stand bemused looking at the blue and green cases not knowing what’s what. Ok, I’m sure a lot of parents this day and ages are far better than mine were many moons ago when i got nintendo games instead of playstation ones.
So there we have it parents buying for their children must be the reason right?
Well out of the 15 games i listed 6 / 7 of them are child friendly. So games are being released for adults too, the audience that could usually afford to buy the games at any time of year. Well they are more likely struggle to fund them at christmas, they spent all their money buying hatchimals (or whatever the fad is at the time) off ebay for 3 times the recommended retail price.
Ok, so i cannot find any statistics to back it up, and even if i could because all games and the hype around them are different (except call of duty) they would be irrelevant. There is no way of telling if a game released in march would do better than a game released among 15 others in October. However as a gamer i do feel we are let down by the reluctance to change by AAA developers. Not only in games design and development but also in release dates and preorder models.
The crippling depression on the the annual games drought is softened by the emergence of indie games and developers, but i just don’t get why? Call of Duty will sell in february it will sell in November it will sell whenever its released. Star Wars battlefront will sell and the new Star Wars film will be released to help with sales. But will call of duty and star wars battlefront sell aswell both being released in competition…. I doubt it.
What this does mean is that to really do well in the period you either need a great amount of hype, or be releasing a great game. Unfortunately we have seen from so many years gone by developers tend to focus on the first at the detriment of the second.
Do you have to make a decision about games you will buy and ones you want but will leave on the shelf because you can only get one? Why not let me know below.