Electronic Arts is re-thinking its release schedule for video games. At issue: The fact that a huge number of games are put out at Christmas time. Glen Schofield, general manager of EA's Redwood Shores studio in San Francisco, said that disappointing sales of original games like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space (to be fair, it's not like either game flopped!) may have partially been caused by the dates they were released.
"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.
"I think that we traditionally thought that people only buy games at Christmas or around holiday time, and now we're looking back and going, 'You know what, GTA launched in May; Resident Evil comes out in March'."
I could not agree more. I don't receive games as gifts. I have a job, so I buy my own games. I then play it until I decide I hate it (usually) or until I beat it (sometimes.) Then I get a new game. Wash, rinse, repeat. So my buying habits are one-game-at-a-time, and I don't care what time of year it is. Sometimes, howeer, during game release drought months, there's nothing worthwhile for me to buy. Whereas in November and December, there are 18 games I want to pick up on the same day. I hope EA and other publishers learn their lesson and start spreading out the AAA releases!
How about you? What's your game consumption habit? Do you buy most of your own games or get them as gifts?