High-Quality Games Can Now Be Released at Any Time of the Year, Says Sony’s Shawn Layden
You may have noticed that Sony shied away a bit from releasing AAA, high-quality games in the usual Holiday season. For instance, The Last of Us launched in early June and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in early May, while Horizon: Zero Dawn became available in late February/early March depending on the region.
Speaking to German site Golem.de at E3 2017, Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America as well as Chairman of Sony Worldwide Studios, explained this as a significant industry shift that goes beyond the PlayStation brand.
Games are a bit of a business, and timing is very important. By the end of the year, people simply have more money. But it changed a little. Horizon Zero Dawn, for example, was released in February and very successful. Batman Arkham Knight came out a few years ago right after the E3, and the demand for it almost exploded.
We can now publish the really high-quality games almost at any time. It is difficult if almost at the same time a similar top game appears, as was the case in the last year's business.
Indeed, whereas high-quality games used to be pretty much reserved to March-April and October-November, in the last two years or so gamers were blessed with excellent games almost every month. Even the usual Summer drought is basically gone, with June delivering titles like Tekken 7, DiRT 4, Wipeout Omega Collection, ARMS, Nex Machina, Ever Oasis, two big MMO expansion such as Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood not to mention Valkyria Revolution and Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, both due this week.
July isn't completely void of games, either, thanks to Fable Fortune, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Lone Echo, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, Splatoon 2, Aven Colony, and Pyre.
Then, from the subsequent month onwards it will be an endless wave of potential hits, starting with August's Tacoma, Ark: Survival Evolved, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, LawBreakers, Sudden Strike 4, Agents of Mayhem, Matterfall, Sonic Mania, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, F1 2017, Madden NFL 18, Absolver, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Warriors All-Stars, Yakuza Kiwami, the first episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, not to mention the console releases of Redout, Cities Skylines and Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition.
The question is, will gamers be able to find time and money for all these titles?