Games stumble around a lot, probably a lot more than you think. In the last few years, I’ve seen the word ‘delayed’ at least two trillion times. It can be anything from Sony’s video-store in Europe to BioShock 2 to even something stumbling so hard that it ceased to exist. I can remember intricately the holidays of 2007, with more than 10 killer titles coming out. I can remember 2008, when 5 killer titles came out, but I cannot for the life of me remember 2009 as a good year for games. Yes, new gaming history has been written, we’ve seen our industry go through many changes, but in games terms… well…
The year has seen some changes, to say a few. We have the Beatles coming out of their dusty closet, Batman finally getting the game he deserves, the PS3 slimming down its diet and Valve messing up (sort of)… for the first time ever. But game wise, these holidays aren’t particularly memorable for me. Sure, we’ve had some killer apps and my person game of the year released, but there’s not enough stand-outs. Last year, it was still a crowded place to be and it seems that everything in Q4 decided to jump into the deep pool of 2010 to avoid competition. Oh the irony!
Now we have all the killer apps releasing in Q1/Q2 2010. God of War 3, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Just Cause 2, Alpha Protocol, Alan Wake, Bayonetta, Army of Two Fortieth Day. PHEW. Yeah that one big chunk of a sentence was deliberate, not poor english. Did I forget any? Any at all? There’s probably a whole lot more, that’s just what I can remember off of the top of my head. I know for a fact that 50% of those were supposed to be released in the holidays of 2010, to avoid competition with each other.
I guess you can sort of compare it to Halloween, Christmas and Easter all deciding to take place in the same month. So they decide to move forward into the calendar year, but end up barging into one another. Even Christmas lost a few of its men. In fact, Halloween probably touched Christmas inappropriately and caused a bearded old man to sneak into houses at night and give ‘presents’ to children. Disgusting. They’re all major events in the Calendar year, maybe Easter being an exception, and with them all jumbling together, it causes chaos.
Alongside all of this delay and whatnot, some titles just get lost completely or get canned. Demon Souls was meant to be released in Europe in September, but due to competition (probably ODST), it shifted into 2010. Now it’s in distribution hell and the only way you can get it is if you import the region-free PS3 version. Duke Nukem Forever also suffered from a similar problem, maybe not by the threat of competition, but by the threat of not being released at all. Some Twitter talk and some other Wikipedia info indicates that the game could have even be ready for late 2009.
I look forward to Q1 2010, even if it will murder my wallet. In fact, if anything, it’s made it worst. The titles that were destined to release early 2010 now have whole new faces to contend with. God of War now has to fight off the horde of Rapture, Heavy Rain has to fight off modern marines from Battlefield and even Mass Effect has competition from Army of Two!… Well you can’t exactly call that competition, no offence EA, Bioware pretty much own January. Unless of course, you’re stupid and like jiggle physics, in which case, Bayonetta is being released. Oh goody, another Devil May Cry rip off from the actual creator of Devil May Cry.