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A new genre of summer blockbuster-and a move towards a more mature medium


I swear: every day I see a new post about some game being delayed into the Spring. Is this the beginning of a shift towards a more summer-oriented gaming market? I'm not entirely sure at what point Hollywood began focusing on the summer for its would-be hits, but I have heard today's gaming industry compared to the fledgling movie industry circa 30's & 40's. So what does this mean for the gaming industry, exactly? It's hard to say, exactly. Pachter will say something like, "the alien species which actually created and controls the gaming industry is evolving into a species which favors a warmer climate..." and so on. But Pachter's fucking insane, so forget about that. My thoughts follow.

A disclaimer: I'm writing this post with absolutely no research done ahead of time. It's a product pure speculation and maybe a smidgen of subconscious knowledge (stemming out of things I have read before, no doubt--not some Jungian collective unconscious). I digress.

As anyone who has touched a controller knows (and if you don't, now you do) there has historically been a partisanship towards releasing games in the fall/early winter (pre-Christmas). So why have publishers leaned towards that release window? Well, in a purely secular sense Christmas is about buying shit for loved ones (I know, I know--it is and will continue to be a religious holiday for as far ahead as I can see). For many children, the tree holiday is the time of year at which they receive most of their toys. Though this is surely somewhat flawed logic, I can imagine that this has classically been a big reason as to why games were released when they were. Can you see where I'm going with this?

I'm not entirely sure about why exactly so many publishers are suddenly deciding to lump their releases in spring rather than winter. Regardless of that, it is a strong indicator of the possibility that they are beginning to realize that there's no need for this silly fucking holiday dash to get their games out on the market before Christmas. Which, of course, means that they are starting to realize that the medium which they produce--video games--are maybe, just maybe, a legitimate medium which can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. This is a huge step towards legitimatizing the medium in the mainstream, because if the makers themselves see their product as toys, then that is what they will continue to be. This is something all Destructoid readers can rejoice about. We still have a long ways to go, but this is, if my reasoning is correct, a big victory.

A concern, though: one would hope that spring doesn't become the go-to season for publishers, taking the spot of winter. We need even releases! Gamers play games year-round, even more so as our society becomes more and more stagnant and digital. But that is a topic for another time.

[Update: forgive the large header image, I'll fix it later, but then again I probably won't.]
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About Dan Hoytone of us since 11:08 PM on 04.11.2008

Bah humbug.