Published on February 26th, 2009 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder4
The "Holiday Blitz" May Be On Its Way Out!
Glen Schofield may be attempting to give gamers a reason to rejoice, and when you hear the reason you might just get caught up in the moment and rejoice a little, yourself.
What’s such the big deal, you ask? Well, in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the General Manager of Electronic Arts’ Redwood Shores studio, Glen said something in particular that could benefit not only gamers, but the gaming industry overall if his words are heeded.
Here’s a taste of where he was headed:
Glen Schofield, general manager of the publisher’s Redwood Shores studio in San Francisco, acknowledged that releasing new franchises like Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space during peak season, which failed to hit sales projections, had been an education for the company.
That’s a good sign… Realizing that releasing brand new IP during the time of the year that all the heavyweights get released is a major step for any publisher, let alone the second largest publisher in the world.
Be patient though, it gets better:
“You can blame some of it on the economy,” he said, but added that there were “far too many” games in general released during the holiday period, a situation which, given the dire economic conditions, the industry could no longer ignore.
“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.
Now I’ve bolded the most important parts of those paragraphs just to stress the importance that this carries for the future of the industry. Go ahead, read those again to let them sink in…
If you’re unaware as to how these statements are important to gamers and the industry as a whole, you have either been under a rock for the last couple of years, or you don’t game much. There are many of us who see this as very important. Some of us likely spent spent hours in a store looking at all the possible choices of new games this past holiday season, unsure of which game we want most out of the twenty worthy selections available to choose from – with only $66 in our pockets. If you’ve been in that situation, this news is for you.
Some of you may still not get it, so I’ll place this analogy: Does Fox Studios release their best eight films within the same three months of the year? Most certainly not. That would just be wrong, mostly because those movies that have been in production for years will end up cannibalizing each others’ sales, making movie-goers pick which of the top Fox films they want to go see. Now think if every movie studio released their top films in the same three months – what would you have?
You’d have a lot of movies not making much money, that’s what you’d have, and unfortunately due to the short-sightedness of the gaming industry, game publishers have been doing this to games for years.
Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Dead Rising – those are just a handful of games released outside of the normal comfort zone to critical acclaim and ridiculous sales. Why did they sell so much? Mostly because there wasn’t much else to choose from as far as new games go, but on top of that fact, they were damn good games.
The fact that a General Manager at the second largest video game publisher on the planet realizes that games can be released at any given time of the year and still make money says tons about how far the game industry has come.
So, yes, the “Holiday Blitz” may be on it’s way out. If other publishers realize their folly in releasing all the years’ best games in a ninety-day timespan, the holiday blitz will likely be forever changed. Of course there will be games released in that period, but to not be pigeon-holed into “Which-game-do-I-want-the-most” decisions every holiday season because great games have been consistently released all year round is a day that I hope for.
That day will be one of untold victory for the gaming industry.
The only other thing to say now is this: Took you long enough.