It’s the six months of Christmas for UK games retail

Retailers have praised publishers for daring to release titles outside of the traditional Q4 sales bonanza.

Q1 2013 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in the industry’s history, with major sequels in the Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry, Dead Space, BioShock, Metal Gear and Gears of War franchises.

Although publishers admit this makes things challenging, the High Street is optimistic that such a busy slate will prevent the traditional post-Christmas sales slump.

This year has been incredibly tough and shows no sign of abating next year. However, there are glimmers of hope,” said Morrisons games chief Nick Sultanti. The strength of the key releases should keep the momentum from Q4 into Q1, and what’s positive is that we shouldn’t see the cannibalisation of week two sales as we often see in Q4.

Titles like Tomb Raider, Bioshock, Aliens and Metal Gear should lead the charge to a hopefully brighter 2013.”

Blockbuster’s James Morton added: The Q1 line up is looking very strong.

With the current economic climate, consumers are choosing to place their faith in the well-known, trusted brands and triple-A titles, but this does mean that secondary titles are suffering. With no new consoles coming just yet, it’s important that we have a strong line-up to keep consumers involved in the category.”

Alongside the games listed above, Sim City, Army of Two:?The Devil’s Cartel, Lost Planet 3, Crysis 3, Aliens:?Colonial Marines and Star Trek are due for release. And that doesn’t include the possibilities of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell:?Black List plus any potential Wii U software.

March is going to be a good month so I’m looking forward to it,” said Darrell Gallagher, studio boss at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics. "It’s a good time for gamers and that’s all I can say.”

Capcom US and European marketing boss Michael Pattison added: ”For all the doom and gloom in the industry, there’s a lot of exciting content coming. It is going to be a great six months.”

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