The Vent: Release Dates

By Brendan Ecock

November 11, 2009

Every game has a release date, no matter how popular the game is. It could be the crappiest game and the developers would have a release date for it. Lately I have noticed an unhealthy trend in people breaking the release dates, and having their share of fun of a particular game before everyone else could get to play. Right there one would think it is the people that would get me pissed off, how they can just break the “rules”, but after I thought about it for awhile, there are so many groups to blame, and I have no clue as to who the real culprit is.

Let’s start with the developers. We all know some of our favorite games are coming out, because they have been announced way in advance, say eight months or so. They make us so hyped for the game we can’t hold our own stool in. What is the outcome of this? We wait, talking to our friends about the anticipated game, or if you have no friends, talking to yourself about the game. The worst is when the developers declare a release date, which is still 6 months away from where we stand today. It’s like giving a perverted young boy a talk about receiving his first Playboy magazine, just to let him know he can only get it half a year from now. Now we get antsy, waiting until whatever was still sane in our head to take a vacation. People go nuts, screaming at each other and the walls about wanting to own the game then and there. No wonder people can’t hold their own. If it wasn’t for the release date given way in advance, people might not have gone a little crazy.

Then again, developers can’t all be held accountable. Some stores, do not give two fraks about the release dates, and will sell the game when they receive copies of it. They do it just to remain in competition with their bigger competitors because their bigger competitors have to follow “rules”.The smaller stores get overlooked as the bigger stores feel as though they are always being watched, waiting for a chance to give them a lawsuit. With the smaller stores secretly selling these games in advance, gamers rush to these stores, not caring about the legality issue that is going on here, and buying their game so they can play it as soon as they get home. What happens to the rest of the world, who have to wait? Does this seem unfair?

Then we have the gamers, who implement these decisions to go and get the game early, because it seems we can’t keep it in our pants anymore.They don’t care about the legal issues, nor the ethical spectrum of it all. “All for one and one for me” is a good term used in this situation, because it seems that every gamer at this point believes only in him or herself.

How can we solve this? It feels as though this is all some effect that trickles down to one another. The developers have a release date and announces it to the public way in advance. Game stores know how big of a game it is going to be so they try to get their shipment in as early as possible. Wanting to stay in competition with their counterparts they sell the games early to the public. Gamers who can’t think straight anymore rush out to get their game early once they hear about it. In order to at least limit this bullcrap, the developers should just stick with a broader release date until the actual release date is close, like somewhere in Fall 2010. It throws the gamers off, having something to think about for a change. Have the game stores receive the copies of the game at least within a two day range before the release date, that way, if the stores do try to sell the game early, they are remotely close in the vicinity of the actual release date. Many people have to suffer and wait for their favorite games to  be released, and those few who want their games earlier should suffer as well.

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Vent is closed for now, but feel free to share your thoughts on this issue, and if you have any other concerns that have pissed you off in the gaming world recently, let me know.

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