To be honest, for some reason I expected the start of 2013 to be a little quiet on the major triple-A video game release front, how wrong I was – and considering my background in the games industry, I really should have known better!
There are some awesome games coming out over the next 3-4 months: 2012 ended big, but 2013 has started even bigger. The problem this creates in these ‘austere’ times is that sadly not all games will sell in big volumes and we as a video gaming retailer will need to decide which ones to buy and support.
Clearly Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is going to be massive whatever happens and as such this is a ‘must have’ title to stock (we will look at this a little further down the line – the launch having now been moved to September anyway). Alongside GTA V, we will endeavour to carry as many titles as possible. What seems evident from our perspective is that with some very big guns battling it out for the pound in customers’ pockets, it’s a battle that could get bloody.
Certain titles will always, pardon-the-pun ‘start ahead of the game’ having an already established market. GTA is one such with the pedigree of its forbears long since assured. For others, a combination of factors apply and although it is often possible to ascribe success to certain touchstones such as marketing spend, quality code or the strength of a games’ brand (or more likely a good combination of the three) even this does not always tell the whole story. As the tribulations at THQ have recently shown, just one mistake (U-Draw) can bring a company to its knees. As an erstwhile employee who has followed them with interest, I am well-placed to opine that although this is a great company, with great people and a superb product, ultimately a decision to ‘go big’ on one brand has cost them dearly.
Coming back directly to the topic of this post, there are some other big releases coming and the titles that I’m going to touch upon briefly certainly seem to tick the box in terms of important ‘brand factors’ but only time will tell if the code is strong enough and what level of marketing investment each publisher will put behind their launch.
The titles in question are:
The new Tomb Raider – Squire Enix/Eidos.
Crysis 3 – EA Games.
The Last of US – SONY.
Bioshock Infinite – 2K Games
There will, of course be more and there are always going to be a few ‘wild-card’ successes which even those purportedly in the know will fail to predict. That games can come out of leftfield to become hits illustrates the exciting and unpredictable nature of the industry and although this guarantees a degree of uncertainty, the one thing we can assure you of is we will seek to anticipate and supply these.
I will talk about all the above titles in due course during later posts: suffice to say the launches above will be five very big video gaming events and it will be interesting to see which among them will become star sellers and which ones may fall flat…
A detailed look at each title’s release campaign will follow over the coming weeks and months.
Until next time – keep lounging and happy gaming!