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Jason Karney's picture

I bought four games over the last week: 

  • Yakuza
  • Okami
  • Rocket Slime
  • Capcom MiniMix

And this is just a smattering of the games I expect to purchase over the fall season. So yes, once again, it's that time of year to ask: Why the #$#@ can't publishers spread the release dates for some of their big titles throughout the whole year?

Are they really trying to capitalize on the holiday season? Or do they still work around the kids?

Everybody says that games are growing more adult; that gaming has an older, more mature audience. (Myself, I may not be more mature, but I am 33.) Doesn't this imply then, that more people who buy games are working all year, rather than attending school and having summer vacation? I bring this up because traditionally, I believe releases were skewed away from the summer because kids were supposed to be playing outside while they were free of the shackles of education.

That means those of us who don't have months of summer vacation, and who have disposable income, are debating on which of the fall releases we can afford. I know that although I buy a lot of games, even I am becoming more selective with what I will plunk down $30-50 on, because I can't find time to play that many games at once.

 Had some of these things been available during the earlier part of the year (January through March is a veritable gaming wasteland, post-holiday and pre-E3), I'd have been thrilled to buy and play them. I can't imagine I'm the only person struggling with where to spend my gaming dollars. Even the almighty, cash-throwing, kid-pleasing soccer moms must have limits on how many games they can buy for their spoiled spawn.

 Is there a solution for this dilemma? I'm sure there is, but I doubt the sentinels of gaming (i.e. the big publishers) are going to change their habits any more than the RIAA is going to open their arms to nonrestrictive, consumer-friendly DRM. These institutions won't change their ways until consumer pressure becomes overwhelming.

 Quite the dilemma. I guess I'd better start planning my expenses in the meantime. 

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