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The State of the Industry

Time to take a deep breath and then start all over again.

So it has been quiet over the past week. Nofi even sent us a nicely worded email which basically said “why have you all stopped posting, you lazy bunch of tw@s?!” He was more civil about it but we all know that’s what he meant.

So why are things quiet? Well, I have been very busy with work and as we are entering the Christmas season my work will soon die and leave me, three weeks until Christmas day, with no income so busy right now is warm and fed on Boxing Day. The joys of being freelance.

I think that’s the point though, we’ve reached an interesting period in the gaming calendar where the biggest exclusive titles of the year have just been launched (almost) simultaneously by the big two next-gen consoles. They’ve been very busy making and hyping those games and now selling them to us. We’ve been very busy getting excited and looking forward to them. Now the games have landed and we’ve got our hands on them. The hard work is over for us, we get to relax, breath and enjoy what they’ve given us. It seems to me that, even with some big releases due over the next few weeks, the gaming community has also paused. We’re all having a week to breath after the ramped up excitement that was LittleBigPlanet’s arrival into our world.

So we get a moment to pause (or a week to put off as much work as you can and do very little except play LBP if you’re anything like me) but don’t relax too much. This Friday sees the release of, amongst others, Call of Duty: World at War and Mirror’s Edge. Next Friday we’re getting Tomb Raider: Underworld and another huge exclusive in Resistance 2. So whilst I’ve been taking my big deep breath after the release of LBP the dev houses, marketing departments, distribution networks and retailers certainly have not. The gaming community have been quieter than usual but the gaming industry are going to continue giving us great games for the next couple of weeks before they get their rest (and then have to start getting hyped for Killzone 2 in February).

In some ways it’s unfortunate because a year ago Mirror’s Edge would have been a must buy for me, no question. Right now it’s something that I’m interested in, will probably get at some point but can’t afford this week because there has simply been too much quality released over the last few weeks. I don’t have the money or the time to give these games. Think about that for a moment, we are now in a situation where we simply do not have the time to play all the great games being released. Now remember those couple of months after you bought your launch day PS3, playing Resistance, Motorstorm and Uncharted to death and desperately wanting something new, something different to be released. Now the sequels to Motorstorm and Resistance are having to compete with so much more just to get a chance at going in the front of our PS3s.

All too often we (I) complain about the state of the industry, the lack of originality, quality or even quantity we are presented with so let’s take a step back, look around us at this peculiar time of year and be thankful for the position our beloved industry has gotten itself into. Let’s support the developers by buying what we can afford and playing what we have time for and let’s hope that next year can match or, dare I say it, even better this year in terms of growth in the industry and quality on the shelf.

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