Monday, December 01, 2008

last minute pitch

A techno composer once told me how his album had been postponed for over a year because the record label didn't want to release it into heavy competition, and competition kept surprising them (events, album release dates, etc). The publisher was delaying a finished product so long it hurt the designer, and was making no apparent progress in its attempts to time the product's release optimally.

I was reading today about how Amazon is already selling Spore for just $20 and about LittleBigPlanet's lackluster sales. And I had to wonder how timing has played into the sales of both. This has been a phenomenal season with exceptionally heavy competition for all games.

If a product must face unexpectedly heavy competition, what can either the publisher or developer do in less than a month's time to improve their odds?

1 comment:

  1. The holiday season's glut of games wasn't exactly unexpected - it's that way almost every year, but this year seemed especially gluttonous. Everyone's vying for a slice of the holiday pie, and there's only so much pie that can go around. If you have, say $50 to spend on a game per month, you can be pretty choosy these days.

    Just watch - Resident Evil 5 is going to have blowout sales, not just because it's (probably) a good game, but because it's released during a time of relative dryness. Same with Too Human, there's no way it would have even been in the top 10 if it weren't released when it was.

    But to answer your question, a developer can either market the heck out of the game (expensive), or push the release date off until a dryer time. Hey, they can even use that time to make the game better. But, unfortunately, there's not much else that can be done.

    As far as I know anyway, maybe I'm missing something. I'd love to hear any other suggestions.


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