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News 05-21-12 06:30 PM

Early 2013 becoming new "holiday season" for some game developers
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conten...ns-640x363.png This happy fellow won't be bursting through your door until 2013.
Sega / Gearbox

The "holiday season" window that generally runs from September through November every year always sees more than its fair share of big name video game releases. But in recent weeks, a number of publishers have delayed their anticipated titles into the early part of next year, rather than having them face what's sure to be another overcrowded marketplace at the end of 2012.

First, Irrational Games announced that long-awaited BioShock Infinite would hit stores next February, rather than its originally planned October 16 release date. Then Crystal Dynamics announced last week that the latest reboot of the venerable Tomb Raider franchise would be hitting in the first quarter of 2013. Finally, just today, Sega announced that its Alien: Colonial Marines game will be released on February 12, 2013 rather than the previously planned "Fall 2012" window (the new date doesn't apply to the plannedWii U version, which is still up in the air at this point).

It's not like these delays will leave the holiday game shelves barren. Plenty of highly anticipated games are still planted firmly in the busy three-month span, including the newest entries in the Assassin's Creed, Borderlands, Halo, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty franchises (and probably some games that aren't sequels, but who cares about them?). The end-of-year glut of major releases is the obvious result of a flood of extra holiday gift dollars pouring into the game market during the holiday season. After all, would you rather release a game during a month when only serious gamers are going to be looking to buy it, or during a month when those gamers' non-playing friends and relatives are also looking to spend some extra money in the sector.

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