October has arrived. Just the very mention of that month sends shivers down my spine. Why? One would think that November would be the month with the most releases, but they’d be wrong. My metrics have shown me that October is the true month of madness when it comes to sheer volume of releases. Time to stock up on my Jolt colas. Thankfully, it has a rather tame start.
Unfortunately, I didn’t start writing my articles until 2 weeks into February which means I have no data for January and the February numbers are going to be a little smaller than it should be. Also, I did miss about 2 articles, one in October and one in June, so those monthly numbers are also a little short too, but given the outrageous numbers of October, it shouldn’t change the picture that much. Let’s start with number of titles per system. Meet the little chart I made just to show that.
Click on both pictures to see the full picture.
Is it any surprise that the system with the most releases each month is the DS with the Wii not very far behind? Given how cheap it is to develop a DS game compared to say a 1080p capable, 60 frames per second game for the PS3, publishers have found a place where they can make some easy money.
Trailing behind consistently month to month are the PSP releases. Oddly enough, it’s more than I thought it would be. I’ve lost count just how many articles I’ve written that didn’t have a single PSP release for that week. Thanks to multiplatform releases for titles like Rainy with a Chance of Meatballs and just about every other movie licensed games, the PSP releases got a nice little bump each month, but that’s the only thing really keeping the numbers afloat these days. Other than that, the numbers remain fairly low every month. I just don’t understand why the system itself keeps selling well every month.
Resident Evil 5
As you can see from the chart and the raw numbers, March was unusually active. I never realized this, but March is kind of a dumping grounds for publishers who wants to release titles, in this case Resident Evil 5, that they don’t want to compete with the other titles that comes out during the holiday season. Also if you look at Nintendo releases, they tend to be around even when a big game is coming out. It’s kinda like how a chick flick could do well in theaters despite the fact that it came out at the same time as a blockbuster movie. They call it counter programming. On the week Resident Evil 5 came out, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 releases basically throttled back, but the DS and the Wii instead pumped out more releases on this week alone. The two systems didn’t let off in releases until April came around.
April is also kind of a strange month. The releases just plummeted. Could it be because everyone decided to clump their releases in the previous month with Resident Evil 5 or maybe further back to next month with… InFamous? Honestly I don’t know.
Everyone talks about how there’s a lull in releases during the summer months. What’s odd is that those months are nothing compared to the lull in Winter. If you ask me, the only thing “dry” about the Summer months are the number of big releases, and even those aren’t that bad either. InFamous and Prototype came out around this time, and Wii Sports Resort came out near the end of Summer. My guess is that relatively speaking, the Summer releases are nothing compared to what’s about to come.
Assassin’s Creed 2
As expected, the number of releases for all the systems surges once the holiday season arrives. One thing I didn’t expect was just how sudden the surge is. The article I wrote on the first week of September had about 10 games, which is just a little bit below average compared to the weeks before it. The second week of September had about 30. From there, the numbers just ballooned. Oddly enough, the surge peaked in October. I was expecting the peak to be in November. Once Black Friday passes by, the game releases drops dramatically. One week, over 30 games came out. The next only about 15. From there, the game releases across the platforms just keep on dropping all the way below double digits.
It’s funny how Fall has the biggest impact on video game releases year round. Winter releases are the lowest compared to even the Summer months because of how much games came out in Fall. The Spring releases sees a slight surge because they’re games that didn’t want to compete with the triple-A titles that came out in Fall. Summer might be the only month that is the least affected by Fall. The 6 month buffer zone between the end of Fall and the beginning of Summer is enough to normalize the release schedule. Fall’s only effect on Summer might be how some publishers would push back some titles out of the Summer season to the Fall season. I might even theorize that if there is no such thing as a holiday season, the numbers you see in Summer is what you see all year round.
Join me next week as I break down the games by genre.
Last Month, Capcom announced that they’re releasing 2 brand new episodes to add on to Resident Evil 5, Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape, in addition to 2 costume packs, each one being released alongside an episode, and the new mode The Mercenaries Reunion mode. So far, only Lost in Nightmares have been detailed, but today on the Capcom-Unity blog (via Joystiq), Capcom has released more details and screenshots on Desperate Escape and the costume pack associated with it.
For my fifth Birthday all I wanted the Batman Power Wheels tricycle. I saw the commercials, I bought into the hype, I couldn’t wait to get on it and be the Dark Knight. I got my dream come true as Mom and Pops came through with the gift, but oddly enough the second best present I ever got, I got that night and it seems its all lead up to this. The second present my friends was Nintendo Entertainment System bundles with Super Mario Bros. 2. Here I am 20 years later still rocking the games, still reppin’ the Bats, so Arkham Asylum no doubt a fantasy turn reality. And friends I couldn’t dream up a better Batman game.