The hectic gaming season of 2015 has all but passed as we lead up to Christmas. Parents, friends and family members will have bought their gaming gifts for each other and publishers take advantage of this by releasing games in the latter months of the year. The thing is, this means the start of the year is usually a pretty quiet time for gaming and this year will be no exception. There could be quite a bit of untapped potential if publishers decide to release games in the earlier months of the year but instead we tend to, more often than not, see games releasing from March onwards. Let’s talk about how releasing games in the early months of the year could well be quite lucrative for game companies.
To start with, like I’ve said previously these companies like to release their games in the run up to Christmas and around the Summer period. This means that there is very little competition around January and February time and you would think these companies would take advantage of that. Think about this, Tomb Raider is obviously a really great game that came out earlier this year. Unfortunately, it sold fairly poorly which is sad to see from such a beloved franchise but this is in no small part due to the fact that it released on the very same day as one of the biggest Game of the Year contenders in Fallout 4. If Tomb Raider released mid-way through January we could well have seen a really successful entry into the franchise and more opportunity and capitol to produce the next in the saga.
The argument is that most people are all spent up after Christmas and no one can really afford to buy video games in the months after and this is why they are released to be competitive for the holiday season. However, a lot of kids (and possibly adults) will have gotten a fair amount of money on Christmas morning and would be just dying to find an excuse to spend it. What do kids buy when they are given a decent amount of money? Games and accessories. This is where the majority of the sales would come from, as well as the crowd of people who would line up to buy the game after seeing the announcement anyway.
There are also other, albeit smaller incentives to release a game early on in the year. Things like being the best selling game of this year so far may not mean a whole lot in the first few months of the year, but it will at least get people talking about it, meaning free publicity and more sales.
At the end of the day, there isn’t really a bad time to release your video game any more as people will always have money to buy your product and fans will always find a way to get their hands on it. It isn’t good for gaming to have a 2 or 3 month lull in game releases so games coming out at this time are sure to sell like hot cakes!