OPINION: Will we miss the Friday release day?

Michael French
OPINION: Will we miss the Friday release day?

Some will say the likely death of Friday as the main release day for games is dispensation of a long irrelevant tradition. 

Others will cite it as more evidence of video games’ globalisation.

The truth falls in between. Global Tuesday deployments or united Wednesday launches are borne of necessity, not desire. 

This is not about a magic bullet that fires a game into one global audience, reducing piracy and unifying marketing. Although that helps. It’s about creating more hype, more drama, more spectacle.

But last time I checked, games still require localisation and territory-specific marketing and sales efforts. So the pressure isn’t any easier on these bigger-than-big games.

This scheduling is as much a cause of the hit-driven market as it is the symptom. Once upon a time, something like ‘Sonic Twosday’ was considered a unique joke to young gamers like me. Today it’s the norm.

And such drama doesn’t just have the chance to amplify your potential for success, but it adds an extra dimension of risk to potential failure. Because if you’ve got all eyes on you at once, what happens if you make a mistake?

YOU HAD TO BE THERE

The atmosphere during last week’s MCV Awards was quite unlike anything else. 

Cheers and no jeers; respectful applause from even the most competitive and commiserated teams; and a palpable sense of warmth. Unity in the face of adversity.

I was at the first MCV Awards ten years ago. I was technically the first team member to ever take our stage, handing out the Retail category winners. I remember that night felt like a defining step for the UK trade.

It was heartening the see, as I helped close out this year’s ceremony by announcing the Grand Prix winner, the community spirit as strong a decade on. 

If you weren’t there, you missed a blinder – but we relive the best bits and congratulate the winners starting on page 26.

Plus, on page 72 we’ve got highlights from our customary industry video. The brutally comic scenes featuring trade stars impaled on snooker cues, dragged off in nets or chased by tanks celebrated the playfully competitive but also proud and fun people working in this industry.

There are some traditions, after all, which are best left untouched.

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Tags: release , video games , date , friday

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