August 22 — August 26

I was sorely tempted to just write the words Deus Ex: Human Revolution in this space, and nothing else. Sadly, brevity is not my forte, and the thought of such a minimalist The Week Ahead without any occasionally condescending commentary was too much for me to bear. The industry, however, has no such qualms and seems to have uniformly conceded the entire week to what will hopefully be a return to form for one of my favorite video game series of all time.

Essentially you may consider this the official kick-off week for the Fall Gaming Season, and what a season it's shaping up to be. Yes, a lot of what you will be seeing this year is high profile sequels, but if you can get past that fact, there are some pretty damn good sequels to be looking forward to. Games like Skyrim, Gears 3, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Forza 4 and Uncharted 3 are just a sampling of the titles screaming toward release over the next 12 weeks.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to have to make some hard decisions over the next 3 months, and by hard decisions I specifically mean which meal I plan to phase out of my diet so I can afford those games. I think probably lunch, it's really over rated and I can never find a good place to eat anyway.

If for some reason Deus Ex isn't your bag, then while you wait for the DNA testing to return the bad news that you are an alien, you could consider World of Tanks on the PC, Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition on XBLA & PSN, or Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overlocked on the 3DS. And that's it for this week, there is genuinely nothing else.

Comments

Minarchist wrote:

Heh, fair enough. I do wish original IP got more interest from the game publishers, though.

Edited for accuracy.

To clarify, what I'm really trying to get at is that I wish people got more jazzed about new IP before street week. What we're discussing here is all the games we're greatly anticipating, typically translating to large first-week sales, no? This is an industry that (for better or worse) is mostly driven by release week and immediately following, and if we don't show as much -- or more -- interest in the new stuff as we do in the very familiar, why would publishers show more interest in new IP? They're judged on success by the initial push. If a game comes out that initially garners little attention but eventually spreads by word of mouth over a period of months or even years, is it nearly as likely to be followed up with more games of that nature? For every Assassin's Creed there are plenty of Psychonauts and Beyond Good & Evils and Planescape: Torments and Arcanums that didn't grow quickly enough to ever see more support.

I do think we as a gaming culture are getting better about it (perhaps due to simply aging), but we could still be a lot better.

wordsmythe wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

I do wish original IP .

Edited for accuracy.

Edited for paucity.

Check and mate, sir.

Minarchist wrote:

To clarify, what I'm really trying to get at is that I wish people got more jazzed about new IP before street week. What we're discussing here is all the games we're greatly anticipating, typically translating to large first-week sales, no? This is an industry that (for better or worse) is mostly driven by release week and immediately following, and if we don't show as much -- or more -- interest in the new stuff as we do in the very familiar, why would publishers show more interest in new IP? They're judged on success by the initial push. If a game comes out that initially garners little attention but eventually spreads by word of mouth over a period of months or even years, is it nearly as likely to be followed up with more games of that nature? For every Assassin's Creed there are plenty of Psychonauts and Beyond Good & Evils and Planescape: Torments and Arcanums that didn't grow quickly enough to ever see more support.

I do think we as a gaming culture are getting better about it (perhaps due to simply aging), but we could still be a lot better.

But sequels to good and great games often build on things we know and expect so it's easier to be excited about them far in advance. Games are expensive and pre-ordering something that tilts toward the unknown is a much bigger gamble than "refined familiar gameplay that you enjoyed previously, NOW in a bigger environment!"

EDIT: And I think the difference in the examples you offer is often one of marketing dollars. Assassin's Creed was once an original IP that I was jazzed about well in advance of its release because of the marketing machine showing off the fluid animations and horse travel (and being an assassin sounds cool. Those other titles'... erm, titles don't do a whole lot with their words, necessarily).

Minarchist wrote:

To clarify, what I'm really trying to get at is that I wish people got more jazzed about new IP before street week. What we're discussing here is all the games we're greatly anticipating, typically translating to large first-week sales, no? This is an industry that (for better or worse) is mostly driven by release week and immediately following, and if we don't show as much -- or more -- interest in the new stuff as we do in the very familiar, why would publishers show more interest in new IP? They're judged on success by the initial push. If a game comes out that initially garners little attention but eventually spreads by word of mouth over a period of months or even years, is it nearly as likely to be followed up with more games of that nature? For every Assassin's Creed there are plenty of Psychonauts and Beyond Good & Evils and Planescape: Torments and Arcanums that didn't grow quickly enough to ever see more support.

I do think we as a gaming culture are getting better about it (perhaps due to simply aging), but we could still be a lot better.

Sequels also get bigger marketing budgets.