Feel the Hatred: The onslaught of Fall/Winter game releases

[SilverDragon1979 talks about how much he hates all of the big name titles coming out at the same time during the end of the year for his Monthly Musing piece. — CTZ]

The summer is about to end and it’s almost time to usher in that very cold period of the year known as fall and winter. With it will come a great many wonderful things, such as football, turkey, snowmen, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Along with all of those chestnuts will come a huge deluge of videogame releases. Now I’m not talking about a slight increase in the number of videogame releases, I’m talking about the Burje Dubai of videogame releases.

Between the months of October and November there are over 120 individual games being released in 2008. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or the money to play even a small percentage of these games, and that’s why I hate the onslaught of fall/winter videogame releases.

The Massive Number of Fall/Winter Game Releases for 2008

As I already mentioned, there are over 120 individual games coming out between the months of October and November. I know this because I actually took the time to count them all up. Now this number does not even include the different versions of each game coming out over multiple platforms. If you actually look at the number of games coming out over all platforms, it’s closer to the 400 range. That means that over the span of a year where 800 games come out, 50% of them are released in only 2 of the 12 months. This is just absolutely absurd

Let’s take a closer look at just some of the popular titles for this year to see when they are actually coming out in relation so each other.

10/14 – Dead Space
10/14 – Saint’s Row 2
10/14 – SOCOM: Confrontation
10/21 – Fable II
10/21 – LittleBigPlanet
10/21 – Far Cry 2
10/26 – Guitar Hero: World Tour
10/27 – Red Alert 3
10/28 – Fallout 3
11/04 – Resistance 2
11/04 – End War
11/07 – Gears of War 2
11/10 – Mortal Kombat vs. DC
11/11 – Call of Duty: World at War
11/11 – Mirror’s Edge
11/13 – World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Look at all those incredibly popular titles coming out, and if you notice they are all within one month of each other. That’s 16 games in less then a month, so almost a game every two days. Do these companies really need to release all of these games so close together? Does this actually benefit them?

How do you find time to play all these games?

According to USA Today, the average age of people who play videogames are between 25 and 40. I am 28, and I can tell you that all these people who are between 25 and 40 do not have a lot of free time on their hands to play videogames. These people have full time jobs, relationships, families, yard work, and other hobbies that all take up their time. With all of these responsibilities, it can be very difficult to actually find the time to sit down and play a game for more then 1-2 hours a day. I don’t typically find the time to sit down until 10PM at night to play, so I can definitely attest to there just being too many other responsibilities that take up my videogame playing time.

For most of the people I know, it can be very tough to play more then 1-2 games a month. What are these people supposed to do when 15 high profile games come out in the span of a single month? They can’t play them all. They can’t even play half of them. What ends up happening is they only purchase one or two of these games at full price. Then as time passes they end up purchasing the other games months later as they drop in price. I spent the last year playing games that came out last fall and winter. The only games I played this year that actually came out in 2008 were Metal Gear Solid 4, and Grand Theft Auto IV. That is absolutely crazy that it took me a year to play all of the games that came out in the span of three months. So I have to ask the question, how is a person supposed to find the time to play all of these games? The answer is that they never do find the time.

No one hates as much as the Angry Video Game Nerd

Feel my Hate!

Videogame publishers are a bunch of greedy bastards. I can’t blame them though, because their entire purpose is to make money and keep the stock holders happy. They don’t make the games. They don’t pour their hearts and their precious time into these games like the developers do. The publishers simply decide when to release the games in order to make the most money, and that happens to be right before the Christmas season. Who cares if it happens to correspond with all of the other publishers releasing all of their games at the same time, making it seemingly impossible for gamers to play them all. If they get their money they are happy, and let me tell you parents are going to spend the money. I worked at Electronics Boutique for four years and I saw how crazy people get during Christmas. If their kids want five games, the parents are buying them five games. It doesn’t matter how unpractical it seems for their kid to get five new games, because no one is practical during Christmas time.

Is it really impractical for these publishers to release their games during the other ten months of the year? Do you have to be a big name title like Grand Theft Auto IV or Metal Gear Solid 4 to actually get sales if you release your game during the spring or summer? Maybe if these companies actually found good ways to market their games they could get sales. Maybe if they actually tried spacing their games out over the period of the year and market them accordingly they might get the same sales as if they just released them over Christmas. I’m not in marketing though so I probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe there is just no way to ever make as much money releasing a game if it’s not during the Christmas season.

I might not be in marketing, but I am an avid videogame player, and I can honestly say that it is just absolutely crazy to release 400 games over the span of two months. Lots of companies are missing out on my hard earned cash because I will never find the time or the money to play all these games. Well that’s too bad for them. I will simply continue to hate the fact that this is the way the industry works, and maybe if I find the time, I’ll actually get around to playing some of these games.