Pachter: The Pace of Game Releases Increased, Q1 2019 Is The Busiest Non-Holiday Quarter I’ve Ever Seen

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Jun 11, 2018
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Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter appeared on Geoff Keighley’s YouTube Live @ E3 show, after Microsoft’s conference and before Bethesda’s. He talked about the show that had just ended, of course, but also mentioned that the pace of game releases seems to have increased lately and Q1 2019, in particular, has a crazy schedule.

Actually, February 22nd, you need to write it down. It’s like, four games coming out that day and the small Anthem is one of them. I don’t know, it’s like, January-February-March 2019 has the biggest line-up I’ve ever seen in any quarter non-holiday. And for sure in that March quarter.

Something different is the pace of games coming out seems to have increased. Phil (Spencer) said at the end of the conference ‘This is the best time ever to be a gamer’. Look at what Bethesda is doing, a new Fallout game already? Rage has actually not been out for a while, but they’re doing a couple big games a year lately, pretty impressive. Ubisoft certainly got their mojo back, they’re getting a lot of games out; EA seems to have gotten their shit together.

It’s hard to disagree with Pachter on this topic. Personally, I’ve noticed this trend since at least 2016. The number of solid game releases has massively increased in the past couple years or so, to the point where there’s barely any respite in the schedule and even Summer months aren’t as barren as they used to be.

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And of course, the first quarter of next year looks insanely busy as mentioned by Pachter, with Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts III launching on January 29th and then four major releases all currently scheduled for February 22nd (Bioware’s Anthem, Sony Bend’s Days Gone, Sumo Digital’s Crackdown 3 and 4A Games’ Metro Exodus). Then there’s Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 from Ubisoft Massive, due on March 15th, and From Software’s new IP Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice which is due in ‘early 2019’ (like Team Ninja’s Dead or Alive 6).

This only a partial list, anyway, as another Ubisoft game could very drop in Q1 2019 (either Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or the rumored new Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell game, possibly due for an announcement later today during Ubisoft’s showcase). And of course, Nintendo could also launch some games in that quarter for all we know (their Nintendo Direct is the last presentation, starting tomorrow at 9 AM Pacific Time).

If we widen the outlook to Q2 or Spring, there are already titles like Rage 2, Devil May Cry 5, Total War: Three Kingdoms in the schedule. The good news is that we’ll have lots of great games to play, even counting an inevitable flop or two. The bad news is that some of these titles may struggle to get noticed regardless of their quality because there simply is a limit to how much time and money gamers can devote even to their favored hobby.

What’s your take, readers? Is it a Golden Age or just too much of an onslaught?

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