Many triple-A titles have moved out of the congestion of the holiday season to the first and second quarter of the next year over the past two years. This time we see a game that purposefully had a release date in the second quarter get pushed back into the holiday rush.
Epic Games, along with Microsoft Game Studios, have announced that the third installment in the Gears of War series will now have a Holiday 2011 realese window. Fortunately, this is not because the game needs more time to finish. Don’t believe me? Well here is a statement from Executive Producer Rod Fergusson:
I know fans are going to be disappointed with the new release date, but rest assured that this is a business decision between partners, and not a quality issue. Gears 3 was on track to be the most polished Gears of War game ever when it released in April, and this additional time allows us to polish it that much more before it hits shelves next fall. Next week we have a major multiplayer press visit at Epic HQ, and I’m really looking forward to the fans seeing and hearing about Gears 3 versus multiplayer for the first time. Lots more exciting news to come.
From a business perspective, I can see why the decision was made. Since Microsoft is publishing the title, I’m sure they would love to give Halo: Reach and their upcoming motion camera Kinect the spotlight that they deserve. But let’s not forget that there could be a few key titles exclusive to the Playstation 3 next fall that Microsoft would want to keep an eye on. One might think that Uncharted 3 could be announced for a fall 2011 release since there development cycle ran two years from their first to their second Uncharted title. However, Insomniac Game’s Resistance 3 is currently set for fall 2011. Resistance and Gears of War went head-to-head back in holiday 2008 with both of their second games in their respective series. Gears of War 2 sold over two million units through its first weekend available while Resistance 2 sold about 900,000 units from November through December. I’m sure Microsoft would love for history to repeat itself.
Now calm down Gearheads, this is not a bad thing. Yes, you’ll have to wait a few more months to chainsaw lambent drones just to toss them off before they explode. However, this will give the developer time to ‘polish’ the game. Hopefully Epic Games would be able to fix some of the multiplayer issues that usually hamper the online experience of past Gears games around launch.
Source: Epic Games