Note to publishers: Spread out your releases

Can you imagine a publisher having the gall to release a highly anticipated game before the holiday window? It’s an unprecedented suggestion, even stupid, right?

Square Enix followed this crazy notion and released Deus Ex: Human Revolution before competitors had the chance to put out their end-of-year blockbusters.

Let’s be serious now. Pitting Human Revolution against the holiday onslaught would have been a bad business move. In the end, the scheduling tactic worked out and boosted sales.

Does this sound familiar? Rockstar Games unloaded Red Dead Redemption in May of 2010 and avoided releases like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The game utilized smart marketing and positive buzz to explode up the charts and earn prestigious awards.


Why don’t publishers take advantage of gaps in the calendar? Many games have benefitted from being the only major releases during a slow period, and these titles typically receive all the attention from the gaming press since it has nothing else to cover. Isolation can only be good in these cases.

Currently, the summer season is an atrocious time for new games. By the time it rolls around, I’ve played through most of the options in my collection. So when companies decide to make new offerings available during this timeframe, I get to enjoy more content. The same goes for gaming-news outlets. It works out for everyone.

Major publishers need to finally realize that Christmas is not the only time of the year they can sell their wares. They have so many more dates to choose from.

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