Retailers: ‘We’ll help balance release schedule’

Specialist stores want more of a say about when new games are released.

Several outlets told MCV they’re willing to work with publishers to balance the industry’s release slate.They say this will help avoid overcrowding shelves as well as month-long droughts.

Retailers have great insight that often goes untapped – whether it’s the best time to maximise sales or create distance between other key launches with similar audiences,” Green Man Gaming CEO Paul Sulyok told MCV.

Each publisher has its own objectives to hit, but if they can take on board this retailer feedback it could benefit them in the long run.”

ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta concurred, stressing that release dates should not only be a publisher commercial decision”.

These comments follow Disney’s decision to delay Disney Infinity to August 23rd at the request of retail, with stores advising the Hollywood firm that consumers are more likely to be actively buying during the summer holidays.

The date change draws attention to an uneven summer, with a quiet May and packed June followed by an empty July (as depicted in our handy infographic below).

The industry also has to be conscious of releasing too many games in September, October and November, given the expected releases of GTA V, PS4 and the next Xbox.

It makes sense to spread the release of new games out a bit more,” said GameSeek’s managing director Stephen Staley.

If Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield 3 hadn’t been released so close together, most people would have bought both games. As it was, many could only afford one. Dates need to be sensitive to market activity.”

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