Last December we complained about the overcrowded Holiday release schedule, making the simple point that being bombarded with too many games in the approach to Christmas was bad for gamers and publishers alike. The final three months of the year may be wonderfully exciting if you have deep pockets and a lot of spare time, but game companies often allow summer months to drift by with little excitement for gamers, before giving us more than we can handle in the winter.
It seems like retailers are starting to question the publisher's logic too, with HMV CEO Simon Fox telling MCV that the current scheduling is tough on game retailers and their customers.
We would love to see some blockbusters earlier in the year, there is no question about that whatsoever. It would be fantastic to have some summer releases when there is a real appetite from the customer to buy games. Huge blockbuster games so close together becomes unaffordable.
Blockbuster commercial director Gerry Butler has also makes a good point about the tactics employed in the movie industry.
The movie industry would never bring the Top 20 franchises together in Q4 and have nothing else for the entire year. There’s not a lot of triple-A games coming out in June. The movie industry just doesn’t do that. I’d like to see the publishers spread the titles out more evenly. That is better for them. And I do think over the next two to three years that will actually happen.
Although 3DS has some notable titles trickling out over the summer, the trends in the industry as a whole do suggest that most must-have games will arrive in a rush later in the year. What do you think? Do you agree with these retailers, or do you want publishers to keep saving the big guns for the Holiday period?