For video games, the 2009 holiday season saw a number of innovative, critcially acclaimed titles like Mirror’s Edge or Valkyria Chronicles that simply flopped in sales.
Obviously, the recession is the primary culprit, with money woes dissuading gamers from picking up B-list titles. But Electronic Arts (ERTS) GM Glen Schofield sees a secondary problem: Too many gaming titles come out at the same time, right before the holidays.
(EA had a poor holiday season this year.)
Gamesindustry.biz: 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 [Grand Theft Auto] launched in May; Resident Evil comes out in March’.”
Generally, we agree, the industry as a whole suffers from too many games hitting the shelves at the same time. But we note parents don’t buy their kids (or girlfriends their boyfriends, etc etc) movie tickets for Christmas.