With Dark Void now being held back until Spring 2010 along with Splinter Cell: Conviction, Bioshock 2, Singularity, Bayonetta, and Red Steel 2, packing them in with the blockbusters like God of War III, you have to wonder if there will ever be such a thing as an even spread for the whole year. Last Christmas was gridlocked, Spring was pretty packed too and yet this Summer we’re sitting on our thumbs yet again. Next year looks to be the same but one louder. Will 2011 be the year that developers and publishers realize that gamers don’t go anywhere during the summer. We want games now, we’re starved for them. Microsoft and Sony clearly prepare with a decent line of downloadable fare (Monkey Island, Fat Princess etc…) but where are the big games that would right now be making mega bucks. Be honest, if Mirror’s Edge was released this weekend we’d buy it in droves.
Here’s an idea of a release schedule that any games company can take to the bank.
Spring: Solo-focused sequels to series that maybe aren’t as rabidly popular as the top dogs. This would allow them room to breathe (Uncharted/Assassin’s Creed/Splinter Cell)
Summer: Interesting new IP’s (Mirror’s Edge/Dead Space/Scribblenauts)
Fall/Autumn: Sports games as long as they hit during the right season (Madden/FIFA) Along with a bunch of unexpected games we can enjoy before the holiday rush.
Winter: Sequels to established and venerated series that are going to claim our multiplayer lives (Halo/COD) FOLLOWED BY RPG’s/MMORPG’s in mid-January to get us through the darker months. (Star Wars Old Republic/Dragon Age/Mass Effect 2)
There’s probably a great deal of flaws in this plan anyway, but the point is, we play games all year round. How come we watch big-budget movies in July but don’t play big-budget games? The sun has no bearing on our habits and it’s just sad to see potentially good games choked by the bigger titles, and then all leaping into the same week of release five months later. We can only hope the extra development time is put to good use.
Anyway, it’s something to think about.