Are There Too Many Spring Games?

uncharted 4 coverGamers often look forward to the fall as the blockbuster season for releases. From mid-September through Black Friday you can often look forward to at least one major release per week. As game production has increased over the past decade and as the cost of triple a games has ballooned, more and more developers are pulling out of the fall and releasing during the first quarter. This often provides a nice balance as gamers have finished the holiday titles and are feeling an itch for something new again. The rest of the year before the fall season is often broken down into a manageable one to two major releases per month, with the late summer months generally being the leanest months. However as the first quarter has begun to fill up with more and more premium titles, we now finally are reaching a scenario in which the second quarter has become overcrowded. Some games need to move, the question is which ones and to what release period.Titles That Should Stick With Their Current Release Dates:There are a couple that I feel are fine by default. Quantum Break is the first game coming out in the quarter and as the last couple of weeks of March featured no significant releases, it will likely get the full attention of Xbox One owners looking for a new exclusive.  Star Fox Zero and Dark Souls 3 also have no need to move as new Wii U titles are in short supply and Dark Souls players will likely buy the game over any other release that may come out in the same time frame.  In May, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, finally releases and is the biggest title of the quarter. Additionally both Battleborn and Overwatch are online shooters that have been in beta testing for quite some time and are likely more concerned about the long game than obtain large sales at release. Finally, after much delay, No Man Sky is the only major release scheduled for June and could receive a nice final push at Sony’s E3 Event.Titles That Should RunRatchet and Clank is the first series entry in nearly three years and will serve as a reimagining of the original game. Unfortunately, Sony has tied its release to a film adaptation of the series releasing at the end of April that has gotten virtually no promotional support. As a result, the game is coming out the same day as Dark Souls 3 and a week before Star Fox Zero.May is almost as crowded as any four week period during the holiday season. Three days after Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Doom will relaunch its series with its first new major installment in nearly 12 years. Four days after that, Homefront: The Revolution, a sequel to the 2011 game releases following being sold to two different developers following the closure of THQ. Finally, a week later, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, releases after being pushed out of February by the sudden announcement of Far Cry: Primal.All of these games could potentially be solid titles that gamers should pick up and give a chance. Unfortunately though, their developers are blind and believe that their titles will be the first choice of a significant amount of consumers come release day. In reality, consumers will likely have to decide which titles appeal to them most, meaning that there will be winners and losers. The solution to the problem seems obvious, but requires developers be willing to push back their scheduled releases.A Revised ScheduleSo what’s the perfect schedule? Well I don’t know if it’s perfect, but this was my attempt:April: Quantum Break (4/5), Dark Souls 3 (4/12),  Star Fox Zero (4/22)May: Battleborn (5/3), Uncharted 4 (5/10),  Doom/Overwatch (5/24)June: No Man’s Sky (6/21),  Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (6/28)July: Ratchet and Clank (7/5),  Homefront: The Revolution (7/19)Not only does this schedule spread out releases, but it also avoids clutter among similar titles. Even more importantly, it takes the two leanest release months of the year and actually puts some solid titles in them. Obviously there are more factors to a release date than simply making sure that no other major game is releasing during the same time period. The most common problem will always be that a game not on a retailer shelf is a game that is not earning a developer any money. However, if a publisher is able to eat the cost, it could end up being a worthwhile expense as it may increase initial sales.So what upcoming games are you excited to play? Leave a comment and check out this week’s episode of Geek Versus Games for a full summary of the spring game release calendar.

What Are Your Thoughts?