AAG Feature: Do too many good games come out just before Xmas?

4th November 2009 - It’s something that every gamer knows is a general unspoken rule of the gaming industry that loads of the year’s best games will come out during the end of year holiday season. But after years and years of this money draining move by game publishers, All Age Gaming looks to see if just too many games are released in this time period and why exactly publishers choose this time of year to make their move.


It’s common knowledge that a lot of kids want video games for Christmas. It’s easy to say that this is the main reason for publishers releasing their games during the September-November period, as game sales are higher than any period. Take the month of November for example, when in 2008 worldwide game sales made $2.4 Billion in that month alone, 10 percent more than the previous November. And I think it’s safe to say that this year will be greater still, with the likes of Modern Warfare 2 and Assassins Creed 2 being released.

But is this a good thing? Sure, sales in general are higher than ever, but only the very best games get the sales they truly deserve. There are far too many great games being released and it’s too hard for the everyday hard-working person to afford all the games he or she would like. This results in tough choices being made and most people will buy two or three of the top tier or well known titles, while sales for the rest of the good games will be relatively low in comparison to the few must-haves. Let’s take a recap on some of the great games that have been, or are about to be released this holiday season (in no particular order):




·         Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

·         Assassins Creed II

·         Brutal Legend

·         Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

·         Borderlands

·         Batman: Arkham Asylum

·         Dragon Age: Origins

Xbox 360 Exclusives:


·         Halo 3: ODST

·         Forza Motorsport 3

PS3 Exclusives:


·         Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

·         Ninja Gaiden: Sigma 2

These were just to name a few, as there are far too many games this year round. Not to mention all the great sport games from both EA and 2K Games, which get better every year, and have sport fans just jumping at as soon as they release. Also, you must take into consideration that a lot of gamers these days have more than one game console, as well as a portable console, be it a DS or PSP, meaning even more games on the wish list.


So, when you put it into perspective, gamers want all these great games and would have to spend upwards of $1000 if they wanted to obtain most of the ones they want. This is why only a select few games get the sales they deserve, and this year it’s easy to say the Modern Warfare 2 is going to dominate the charts along with Assassins Creed II and Uncharted 2.  A lot of people say it, and now, I will add to the number; these AAA titles should be spread better over the year. It’s a fair deal to the gamers that play and love these games and would give peoples wallets a little bit of ease, which is quite important in these harsh economic times.


There is always a time during the mid-year period that feels so lacking in great titles and its times like that when some of these end-of-year titles should be released. I think one thing we can all agree on here is that it was a good choice by the publishers to push back games like Bioshock 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Mass Effect 2 to the first half of next year, or else the result would have just been even more great games and less sales all round. It also gives 2010 a pretty impressive line-up.


In conclusion, even with gamers demanding a more balanced release schedule, it’s likely game publishers will continue their way of late releases and tight gaming months until some kind of new present ridden holiday is made up sometime mid-year. We can only hope. Give us your opinion on the subject with our comments section below.


Article Written By John Elliott