EA: Industry Learning To Release Top Titles Year-Round
For what seems like an eternity, gamers have been screaming at publishers to stop releasing all the best games within a 2-3 month timespan at the end of the year. However, things have been changing as of late - Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots last year and Killzone 2 and Resident Evil 5 this year - and EA has, evidently, learned their lesson.
Why? Because in late 2008, EA released the stellar Dead Space and Mirror's Edge, and while both did relatively well on the sales charts, neither met the lofty expectations. This is because they both launched during the downright insane October/November period, which was loaded with tons of highly anticipated titles. Now, according to GamesIndustry.biz, EA Redwood Shores general manager Glen Schofield says EA won't make the same mistake twice. Said Schofield:
"The one big thing we learned was, we came out with a bunch of new IP, actually with a bunch of new games at the same time. Some people are calling this last year one of the best years in the history of videogames. You just had one great game after another, so we were just right in the middle of it, and you have to have a lot of money behind you to shout out.
He went on to say that there were still "far too many games" released during the holiday period, and given the current economic condition, publishers can't afford to do that this year. We're willing to bet that most gamers would agree, as it's very unlikely that avid fans were able to purchase and play every great title that released between October and December of 2008. Schofield continued:
"I think the industry has finally gone, 'Wow, we could probably just come out just like the movies do'. Movies launch on Christmas day, they launch blockbusters during the summer, and we're now learning that we could probably launch a game at any time, and if it's a good game it will be well received. I think that we traditionally thought that people only buy games at Christmas or around holiday time, and now we're looking back and going, 'You know what, GTA launched in May; Resident Evil comes out in March'."
Last but not least, Schofield all but confirmed Dead Space 2 by saying that although they haven't made any official announcement, "you don't take a game that's rated 89 and just go, 'Well, that was a failure.'" No, Dead Space most certainly wasn't a failure. And we entirely agree that fantastic software should release at a steady rate throughout any given year.
2/25/2009 Ben Dutka