Monday, November 16, 2009

Hiding from the storm

It's hard not to have noticed. Even the Belgian national news had a five minutes article on it. Infinity Ward has finished Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 right before Christmas, the perfect time to launch a game. Sales always spike during the Christmas period so launching your game then is guaranteed to give you big profits. Even crappy games will sell well during this period. In the past, the rush to Christmas has of course lead to unfinished, buggy games that are launched to hit the shelves in time for the big money. It doesn't always pay to launch before Christmas, your buggy game might bankrupt you.

Quite a few games have been moved to 2010. Only the publishers know if it's to avoid the Call of Duty rush which is currently responsible for 57% of all Xbox 360 game sales. So it's not a big leap to think that Call of Duty has something to do with all the delays. In the first half of 2010 we can expect Aliens vs Predator, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Bioshock 2, Mafia 2, Max Payne 3, Mass Effect 2, Singularity, Splinter Cell: Conviction, STALKER: Call of Pripyat, Starcraft 2, Drakensang: the River of Time and Assasin's Creed 2. Some of those games will probably get pushed back again but it looks like it's going to be a great gaming spring. Personally I'm mostly looking forward to Bioshock 2, Max Payne 3, Mass Effect 2 and on top of my list Starcraft 2. Dragon Age should be finished before those games arrive. And I hope to see at least one new, great franchise pop up.

These days there only seems to be one huge spotlight and it's shining on Call of Duty. Call of Duty is topping all the charts. I missed most of the Call of Duty buzz as I'm mostly interested in PC Gaming. I didn't even know the game came out last week until the day before launch. So it doesn't surprise me that this game doesn't do very well on PC, the media I read didn't pay much attention to it. And of course there has been quite some controversy about the PC release. No dedicated servers is upsetting a lot of players.

Personally I enjoyed playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It's a very intense shooter but also way too short. I finished that game in maybe five hours. Seeing how the sequel only offers four and a half hour of singe player fun I will not spend the full €60 (a new price record for pc games?) on it. Especially since I'm not that interested in the multiplayer. I'll pick it up if I see it at a bargain price and play it then.

One thing is painfully obvious from the sales list. Only one game, Pure in the top 10 is not a sequel. People keep complaining about the lack of originality in games yet they keep buying sequels. If you vote with your wallet you'll get what you ask for.

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