It’s not just gamers who strug­gle with busy AW re­lease sched­ules – pub­lish­ers lose out too

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - OPINION - Alex Nel­son

Okay, it’s sum­mer now, but the an­nual ‘choke point’ is not that far off, the months be­tween Septem­ber and De­cem­ber when the evenings darken, tem­per­a­tures lower, and gamers’ purses empty. So as a dili­gent lit­tle gam­ing fan, I re­cently sat down to plan out my pre-Christ­mas re­lease win­dow fi­nances. (Yes, al­ready.) Will my wal­let han­dle its yearly bat­ter­ing?

With Spi­der-Man, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Spyro Reignited Tril­ogy, COD: Black Ops 4, and Red Dead Re­demp­tion 2 al­ready con­firmed, this year’s silly sea­son is set to be a doozy. It could cost more than £250 to grab all those games new from the high street, and even if you are able to pad out your col­lec­tion, life is short – do you have time to get through them? HowLongToBeat.com suggests those five games might take over 100 hours to fin­ish, based on the lengths of pre­vi­ous ti­tles in each series.

Is it pub­lish­ers tak­ing gamers for granted? The op­ti­mist in me says no. More likely, it’s sen­si­ble busi­ness: as pub­lish­ers hope their ti­tles will be the ones fill­ing stock­ings, more re­leases are held for the later months in the an­tic­i­pa­tion of top­ping Christ­mas lists.


Crammed re­tail pe­ri­ods mean masses of choice for gamers, and an ar­gu­ment that there are ‘too many games’ would be a strange one. Th­ese choke points can come back to bite pub­lish­ers, how­ever. In 2016, Titanfall 2 – ar­guably the year’s best and most in­ven­tive shooter – found it­self eclipsed by the two big­gest fran­chises in the FPS scene. Sand­wiched be­tween Bat­tle­field 1 and Call Of Duty: In­fi­nite War­fare, Res­pawn’s di­verse, thought­ful, and ar­tic­u­late se­quel got lost, com­ing fourth in the charts on its week of re­lease – be­hind two other EApub­lished games.

Most play­ers aren’t ob­sessed with ac­quir­ing every new re­lease, and weigh­ing up lim­ited funds against a packed re­lease sched­ule, the ma­jor­ity opted to spend on IPs they al­ready knew. But gamers will con­tinue to en­joy va­ri­ety, and as the in­dus­try con­tin­ues to grow, that’s some­thing that should be cel­e­brated.

Be­sides, vot­ing with your wal­let is a pow­er­ful ges­ture.

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