Video Games Delayed to 2013 A Good Thing?

Every fall there seems to be a glut of games that fill up the October and November months, leaving gamers with many choices to make. Go with this game over that? Should I wait to pick this up after the holidays or buy it now and play it when I finish this other game? All the publishers want to get their game out there for the holiday season, but with such a game overload they are killing possible sales they would get if the games were released in the slow period of the summer or early part of the year.

Thankfully, a few high profile games have been delayed which, strangely enough, is actually welcomed. Bioshock: Infinite, Aliens: Colonial Marines and the new Tomb Raider reboot have all been pushed to early 2013 releases. And this is actually great news for gamers.

Bioshock: Infinite will sell tons no matter when it's released, as the hype around it and the solid nature of the series will guarantee a hit. It's promising that the delay is because 2K Games wants to add more polish to it, rather than rush the game out with bugs and glitches to just fix and patch them later. Dead Island was a solid game concept, but it was mired by glitches that required a good stream of patches along the way, which could have been prevented with a bit more development time committed.

The video game industry is a multi-billion dollar one with a good portion of games being annual releases, including Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed and Madden--for some of these games not a lot changes between versions. It feels like those that aren't annual releases are sequels or series continuations, such as Halo 4 and Borderlands 2. More and more titles that expand the story and provide new style of game play get released in the fall. These established brands will sell regardless though, so why ship them all in the holiday season?

If anything new IPs suffer the most when released in this busy holiday time frame. For a gamer with a limited amount of money to spend, are you going to buy a known game, sure to provide a great experience or risk it on a brand new IP, not knowing if you're wasting your $60? One such example is Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, a solid platformer and action combat game that had an awesome story, great flowing combat through simply beautiful levels. It came out in October 2010, maybe a few weeks before Call of Duty: Black Ops. It was overshadowed then and heavily discounted now, where now you can pick it up for eleven bucks or so on Amazon.

Sure publishers are afraid that if they release their game in the early part of the year or the summer nobody is going to pick it up as who wants to be indoors when the weather is nice and sunny out? That couldn’t be farther from the truth though, with Mass Effect 3, The Darkness II, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3 and Diablo 3 all coming out in the early/mid-spring months and still selling millions. Even Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies and it was a brand new IP from the now defunct 38 Studios/Big Huge Games. If games were spaced out more throughout the year more gamers could stretch their gaming dollars further, picking up more games and helping build new IPs into premier franchises on par with the Assassin's Creeds, Call of Duty, Halo and others.

Here's hoping that publisher continue to spread out release dates; otherwise gamers will pick up one or two titles in the fall and leave others for when they go on sale, potentially crippling a burgeoning franchise before giving it a chance. Mirror’s Edge was a freaking awesome game, but came out right in the middle of fall and had horrible sales as everybody was picking up Call of Duty: World at War, which came out the same day. I have heard whispers of a possible sequel from EA, but who knows when it might come out or if it is legitimately going to come out. Hopefully more publishers will take the hint and move their games up to the summer or back the 2013 to add polish and get better sales to increase the chance for more sequels.