Publishers: We Need to Talk About When You Release Games

By Ian Dransfield on at

What the hell, this week? Are you having a laugh? Are you mocking me and my inability to find time to do things like play games? Is this a joke to you?

It has to be, otherwise this week wouldn't see the release of Grand Theft Auto V's spruced up edition, Far Cry 4, Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault, WWE 2K15, LittleBigPlanet 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Plus Super Smash Bros on Wii U if you're in the US.

I genuinely want to play every single one of those games, but there isn't enough time in the world to be able to - and there certainly isn't enough money in my pocket to get them all. Yet such is the cycle of hype and forced desire, I want them all. Bloody marketeers.

It happens the same every year - there are two big periods when games actually come out: around Easter and before Christmas. There's been a bit of a veer towards things coming out in January and February in recent times, but for now that just looks like a blip.

Generally speaking, you can only look forward to the big new releases at two points of the year. And this year it appears to have been boiled down to one week. Six games. Seven if you're in America. Even at discounted prices, that'd be over £200.

That's too much. And it isn't fair on any of us - consumers of the media. On our part, we have to get reviews of all these games out there in a timely fashion, and that's hard when they're all coming out within 12 seconds of each other.

But, more importantly, it's not fair on those who go out and buy the games. It puts undue pressure on people to get everything - you always have to get things at launch, after all, otherwise you'll miss the boat and will have to wait for the Next Big Thing to come along. It's an industry obsessed with what's next, not appreciating what we have.

Though Kotaku is taking steps away from that mentality, it's fair to say.

It's a futile thing to argue - the money clearly says it makes sense to release games in these two main windows through the year, otherwise publishers (who have a vast amount more information and business savvy than I do) would change their plans.

But for the good of our bank accounts and our free time, can we please see a shift to more staggered releases? Please? No?

Oh. Okay then. Fine. I didn't need time or money anyway.