-by Dylan D
There seemed to a silent agreement between all three kings of the gaming industry. The first quarter of a year would have little to no game releases, allowing consumers to soak themselves in the games they’ve received over the holidays, without feeling like they have to rush. Spring and Summer would be greeted with minor releases, indie games and the like. Fall would continue that trend along with some more notable games. Late Autumn and early Winter would come along and for gamers it was “Video Game Season.”
All the hottest games like Call of Duty, Halo, Grand Theft Auto and Battlefield would release all around the same time. This was the time players all over looked forward to. We were overloaded with quality content and with the cold uninviting weather outside there was no better time to be playing games. Over the past couple of years, the season it fading.
This time last year I had no problem finding a game to play. On my Playstation 4 I had Johnathan Blow’s The Witness, on 3DS Fire Emblem Fates and on my laptop Stardew Valley. A month later I had Uncharted 4.
This year doesn’t feel different either; we have Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 4, For Honor, Zelda: Breath of the Wild alongside a whole new console from Nintendo. This trend didn’t start in 2017, nor 2016; this has been a slow change and it’s interesting to think of the overall effect it will have on our beloved industry.
A Constantly Satisfied Consumer = More Software Sales
We live in a time where stores like GameStop are practically begging people to trade in their consoles with they’re “20% More Trade in Credit” deals. With games constantly coming out, not only does it benefit the consumer by holding on to their systems and always having games to play, it keeps people buying.
No longer will the three or four Triple-A games coming out in November “wait until Christmas”; people want these games during the initial hype and it’s good on both ends. We get games and the companies get money.
More Indie Support
No company wants their beloved customers to be bored with their consoles. So while Rockstar is cooking up Red Dead 2 and Activison the next COD, we have tons of Indie games coming out in between.
Less than a decade ago you’d have a challenge ahead of you to find a hot indie game. I remember having to dig deep to find Super Meat Boy on the Xbox 360 digital store. I was shocked when I booted up the PSN store to find Night In the Woods so decoratively displayed on the front page of “What’s New”. A few weeks later I saw Horizon: Zero Dawn in the same place. Indie games are getting a huge bump in support from bigger companies.
Think back to Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade, a great movement copied by Sony and still used to this day. We’ve taken a step beyond that however and it feels like indies have surpassed a “season” as well and are strategically placed at convenient points in the release calendar.
The obvious chain of events that would follow is more sales for Indie devs, which means for bigger better indie games down the road. Being a huge fan of Indie games, this is certainly an effect I love to see.
Stronger and Healthier Console Wars
Last generation it didn’t really matter what system you had. Sure GTA V might run a bit better on Xbox 360 but overall the hottest games came to both systems. This time around it’s a little different.
The late Winter “Video Game Season” usually complimented both systems equally.
This generation it seems like consumers are focusing on exclusives and because of that we are having a stronger console war, obviously better for the consumer.
Microsoft gets Halo Wars 2, then PS4 hits back with Horizon and a little later Persona 5. Not being stuck to one season allows for companies to take charge and hit harder. This point may seem a bit childish but it all loops around back to the consumer.
Simply put, sometimes there’s just too many games to play! You may save that sixty dollars for Persona instead of For Honor, not only harming sales for Ubisoft but robbing you of an experience you wanted. It’s a bit challenging to properly organize time to play each game, especially when they’re huge like Zelda and Horizon. This isn’t a very strong negative though; overall the lack of a “Video Game Season” only benefits consumers and companies.
This trend should continue to make for a constantly thriving industry and to keep the dust of our systems.
What do you guys think? Do you like having good games coming out 24/7? Let me know down below! I tried going with a more “professional feel” to this post; did it seem forced or do you want to see more writing like this?
As always, thanks for reading.