Fall 2009 Game Lineup Taking Severe Casualties

It’s quite understandable why a game publisher wouldn’t want a lesser known, niche title or original IP coming out this holiday season. The big titles are inevitably going to dominate the industry and make it very difficult for a less well known game to get any attention at all. However, the sheer number of somewhat high profile games that are being delayed by their publishers to avoid competing with the big titles this year is quite unprecedented.

The following games were all originally planned to release Fall 2009, but are now delayed to 2010. If you were looking forward to one of them, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.

Bayonetta (SEGA)
Bioshock 2 (Take-Two)
Dark Void (Capcom)
Mafia II (Take-Two)
Red Dead Redemption (Take-Two)
Singularity (Activision Blizzard)
Splinter Cell: Conviction (Ubisoft)

All of the above mentioned game delays are unique in that their publishers were directly citing the stiff competition this fall as the primary reason for the game’s delays, not that the developers actually required more time. Of course, the developers of these games will undoubtedly welcome a few extra months to polish up their products.

Even the highly anticipated Starcraft II and Final Fantasy XIII, both of which have no formal release date but were expected to release this year, are rumored to be slipping into 2010.

Fall release calendars are usually crowded. But what is it that scares publishers so much that over a half dozen games were delayed strictly to avoid competition?

Chances are it is one of the big three titles coming this fall: Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3 ODST, and Assassin’s Creed 2. These three titles share something in common: they’re all sequels, but more importantly, their predecessors all sold at least eight million copies. Publishers seem to be assuming that gamers will be preoccupied with these titles and that anything else released during the fall 09 period will be lost in the hype and marketing campaigns surrounding the biggest games. Activision Blizzard went as far as to specifically mention Modern Warfare 2’s popularity when explaining why Singularity was delayed.

The only original IPs that seem set on their Fall 09 release dates are Brutal Legend and Borderlands. Both are somewhat anticipated titles, but only time will tell if they have a chance against the aforementioned titans that the industry is so eager to avoid competing with. Bioware’s Dragon Age Origins is also technically an original IP releasing this fall, but the game is strongly linked to the highly popular Baldur’s Gate series, so it isn’t as much of a risk as the other original IPs coming out this fall.

What do you think of the myriad delays pushing so many games from Fall 2009 to 2010? Are they justified in that they’ll give lesser known games their own chance to shine? Or are publishers being too easily intimidated by the popularity of the big games and underestimating the chances of their own titles? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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Are publishers delaying games to avoid competing with these big games?
Are publishers delaying games to avoid competing with these massively popular games?


Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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4 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. yeah so true, its like the Movies industry how they release to the public. Most movies are made way before they are released in the theatres but they have to strategically release them at a time when they think they will get the best ROI. the games in question are huge blockbusters and people only have so much money to spend on video games these days. However I would have released in December to grab the Christmas rush or just after when all the little kiddies have gift money to spend 😉

  2. This makes an extreme amount of sense, especially in this economical climate. It’s quite possible that gamers will have to choose just one or two favorites to purchase. We just can’t afford to get them all right now, so I’m not the least bit surprised at the delays. It’s smart business.

  3. Smart business indeed. Quite a few great games (Ico being a flawless example) were simply ignored in favor of more popular titles, and a few crap games under a good name (FF12 was disappointing, k’?) pushed aside some killer titles.

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