The Disappearing Summer Doldrums? - Most dictionaries define the word "doldrums" as generally being a state of inactivity or stagnation, with the most common examples being in business or art, and observing that August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises. It is telling that the Summer months are often noted as being the period in which the doldrums occur, as traditionally it is those hot and stagnant months during which nothing happens, and it seems that the world is holding its breath waiting for something -- anything -- to happen.

Within the confines of video game culture the word "Doldrums" is invariably preceded by the word "Summer" and together the phrase describes that unfortunate period in each year during which very few (if any) AAA titles are released. The origins of that lull in publishing is something of a mystery, as depending upon who you ask you can easily receive different answers. Some industry analysts suggest that the gap is demonstrative of the fact that the majority of the game studios are in the northern hemisphere and the gap in release dates coincides with the regular holiday periods there. Others suggest that it is simply a fluke in timing, and point out that far from being a barren period in the industry, it happens to be when the bulk of concentrated development takes place, which explains why there are no release candidates during that period.

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