TITANFALL 2 WAS ECLIPSED BY TWO BIGGER FRANCHISES, BATTLEFIELD 1 AND INFINITE WARFARE.
It’s not just gamers who struggle with busy AW release schedules – publishers lose out too
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.
THREE’S A CROWD
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.