Microsoft’s European marketing boss for Xbox has questioned the continued concentration on Q4 and Christmas by publishers.
David Gosen told MCV that he was concerned by the “seasonality” of the UK trade – and called on suppliers to take more risks when choosing release dates for major titles.
“We still have a very seasonally-focussed business,” he said. “You only need look at last Christmas, when nearly 200 titles were released in the space of three or four weeks. There was that crazy week, third week of November.
“The big brands reached the top and everything else was left by the wayside. It’s becoming harder and harder to establish new IP in that environment. You have to ask if that’s sustainable.”
Gosen pointed to Capcom’s success with its release of Resident Evil 5 last month. According to GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA data, the title was the second biggest-selling game in March and Xbox 360’s most successful game in Q1.
He added: “Of course Christmas is still the key selling period, but we need to look at de-seasonalising. We launched GTA IV at this time last year, and Capcom’s Resident Evil has shown that you can be successful. As more publishers do this, we’ll create a second or third release window, and that will be great news for the industry.”