The Rise and Fall of Holiday Gaming

The Rise and Fall of Holiday Gaming
The fall of holiday gaming.

We have already posted an article on ZTGD about how amazing the first half of this year has been. With blockbuster titles for every system such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mass Effect 2 and God of War III, the spring of 2010 has been one of the best that this business has ever seen. However, this spring has shown a shift in where the money was made during this business.

If you look at this fall, there are only a handful of titles that are must-buys in my opinion. Halo and Call of Duty will once again rule the shooter roost, and will grab truckloads of dollars for their resepective publishers. Other than that you have Medal of Honor trying to make room for itself in the shooting market, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit cementing the annual place of the series in November, and a quick turn around of a new Assassin’s Creed.

Now, I am not saying that all of these titles will be bad games. But it seems like they are making too much room of the two big dogs I mentioned a little bit ago. This fall is falling apart, as now four or five games have left this fiscal quarter and moved to next spring. I completely agree with going where the money is, but I would also really like to see some titles spread out over the next year, instead of being too focused on the spring or too focused on the fall.

I really started to see this trend a couple years ago with the release of the original Lost Planet. Games at that time were mostly being released in the holiday season, and Lost Planet was pushed to late January. This benefited the game greatly as it sold like crazy. This got many of the other developer’s attention, and they started to move their releases into the spring, but now I feel that it is becoming too top-heavy.

Spring of 2011 is shaping up to be even better than this year, and thus it is leaving this fall with something to be desired. The only real games coming out as I have said are the next big sequels. There are hardly any original IP’s, as the established brands are once again dominating the holidays. I know it is tough for a new IP to roam and make some cash this time of year, but with last year’s release of Borderlands, it can be shown that new intellectual properties can prosper if they are branded right and given the attention and time to shine.

Basically what I am saying is I think that developers need to take more chances and space out the releases across the entire year, and not have them clustered up in one time frame. I know in these hard economic times that this is very hard to do, but at the same time it will benefit gamers. I also know that being a gamer for as long as I have has shown me that we pay attention to new games. All you have to do is listen to what we will get excited about and what we won’t, and if the developers can pay attention to that, they should know how to strategically release their games, and make the most money across the entire year.

It will give everyone something to play at one point or another, and will spread the love around to everyone, without hurting everyone’s wallet in the process. If they are able to space them out enough, then there will not be three or four games that I will have an urge to buy on a single day, and I can take the time to play the games I want without another one coming out the next week.

I know it seems like I am complaining like I have too much to play, but I am one of those people who like to play the next great thing, and don’t want to wait to finish the games I have before I move on. For those of you without this problem, I’m sure you don’t share this opinion and play things at your own leisure, but if you are someone like me, you want time to play your games without having to keep looking for the next new shiney toy, and I really think spreading the releases around would solve this.

Jeff is a full-time student and has a disorder where he constantly trades in all his games to buy new ones, and then buys the older ones back. We are looking into getting him his own padded room.

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