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 Jun 18, 2004 - 09:37 AM - by Michael
* Shellshock: Nam '67 Gold but Delayed

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Eidos' title Shellshock:Nam '67 has gone gold, but has also apparently been delayed. Blue's News has some cryptic, rather disapproving comments on the matter. From article:
On May 20, 2004, the Company reported that the recent and unexpected softness in the games market, particularly in the US, was negatively impacting unit sales of Hitman: Contracts even though it was charting well in Europe and the US (and continues to do so). Since that time, this market trend has not reversed and the industry is about to enter the traditionally quieter summer period for game sales. Given these circumstances, and notwithstanding that the game is now ready to release, the Board has decided to hold the release of ShellShock: Nam '67 until September so as to provide this important new franchise with a better opportunity to deliver its true potential.
Now, Blue seems to think that this is either (a) undesirable or (b) unusual in the gaming world. I've got a few comments on the matter. It's not.

Anyone who pays attention to the gaming world (as Blue claims to), ought to know that the industry is cyclical. Publishers routinely schedule games for big buying-times and around conferences, pretty much the same way that movie companies looking to push a blockbuster film try to schedule around Memorial Day, Fourth of July, November (Thanksgiving), or Christmas in the US. It's about when people will be in the mood and have the time to go and spend money, possibly with family or friends, to see the movies.

The video game industry is no different. September is one such month; May/June is another big time. November/December are big launch times.

Things get a bit deader when we're talking about January through March/April, and most of summer. Why? January is post-Christmas letdown, we're not spending as much because we're all going over the sticker shock from what we spent on gifts and friends and dinners out and parties over Christmas, on credit card or otherwise. Summer, people are running around outdoors, enjoying the good summer weather. So there's just less time that people are playing games and, subsequently, less games they'll want to buy.

So Eidos wants to delay their release to make it fresh during a big buy-time? More power to 'em. I'd rather see a game go gold and be delayed a month or two, than watch some idiot publisher force a game out half-finished in order to meet that Christmas deadline and have to wait 6 months for the patch to make the game behave as it should have.

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