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Question about release dates for Obsidian staff


Foamhead

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I'm just curious how you folks decide on a games release date. A game I want is being released on November 9th (Sunday) even though I know EB Games already has them in stock and surely today would be a better time to release a game?!?

 

So I am asking you to explain to me how you guys decide a street date for a game and why you would hold off putting them on sale right away when all the stores have copies because it seems a lot of the time these release dates are arbitrary.

 

 

Thanks in advance for your time.

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Like publishers ever answer questions on their forums =/

 

Obsidian guys at least communicate with their customers, plus they are a handsome bunch so we need any excuse to drag them away from their cubicles now and then.

 

 

I understand why games have a street date my question is how one is decided since as I said before sometimes they seem totally arbitrary.

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I understand why games have a street date my question is how one is decided since as I said before sometimes they seem totally arbitrary.

They are in a way - you tender a contract just as you would for any other service. So in a game's case you'd say we want company X to make Y game in time for a potential Z release window. Company X then tell you if that's possible, so you vary the scope of the game and the release window (and cost) until you find a balance which the publisher is willing to pay and the developer thinks they can achieve. Overruns are no different than they are for other service areas.

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Generally release dates are set by publishers, yes. It used to be the case that all the media would have street dates that fell on a Tuesday (this is still the case in bookstores and music, as far as I know), because it's easier to stock new titles on a Monday night/Tuesday morning, which is usually the slowest part of a week. (This also helps to drive sales during the slow part of the week, as well.) Over the last few years, though, it's been getting a bit more open; Nintendo regularly makes a case of releasing games on a Sunday, if I recall correctly.

 

Most games will still come out on a Tuesday, but if a publisher wants to try and make their game have an EVENT RELEASE, they'll move it around in the week so that it comes out on a day where they're not fighting with a dozen other games. It might not affect sales at all, but it can sometimes result in more press in the gaming press, especially, if your big-name game is releasing on a Friday while everything else is releasing on the previous Tuesday.

 

Also, it used to be the case that sales data for most media was released on a Monday (and it probably still is). Thus, if you released your media on Tuesday, you would have a full week of sales to try and get yourself to the top of the list. Weekly sales are more important in the case of DVDs, books, and music, all of which see sales figures published weekly in places like Entertainment Weekly and the NYT, whereas games are more often accounted for on a monthly basis, so it's less important to have a particular day of the week for their release.

Matthew Rorie
 

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Generally release dates are set by publishers, yes. It used to be the case that all the media would have street dates that fell on a Tuesday (this is still the case in bookstores and music, as far as I know), because it's easier to stock new titles on a Monday night/Tuesday morning, which is usually the slowest part of a week. (This also helps to drive sales during the slow part of the week, as well.) Over the last few years, though, it's been getting a bit more open; Nintendo regularly makes a case of releasing games on a Sunday, if I recall correctly.

 

Most games will still come out on a Tuesday, but if a publisher wants to try and make their game have an EVENT RELEASE, they'll move it around in the week so that it comes out on a day where they're not fighting with a dozen other games. It might not affect sales at all, but it can sometimes result in more press in the gaming press, especially, if your big-name game is releasing on a Friday while everything else is releasing on the previous Tuesday.

 

I'm sure there are other aspects to it as well...

 

Thanks for the expose.

 

There is another case for releasing on a Friday rather than a Tuesday. Major gaming websites and online gaming magazines are not usually updated over the weekend, so the game is pretty much guaranteed to stay on the front page for three days rather than one! :thumbsup:

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Games are always released on Fridays in the UK :)

Lest you slackers take vacation and play the game during the working week.

Hehe. Nietzsche was of the opinion that we British embraced Christianity solely so that employees would be forced to rest on Sundays and thus work all the harder come Monday o:)

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