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Analysis: Is Procrastination Publishers' New Marketing Strategy?

Anyone recall a time when the video games industry wasn't focused almost entirely on year-end sales? To take advantage of the holiday gift-giving season, the majority of games have always been released in the October to November time frame, almost as if there weren't 12 months in the year.

But this year, the economic slump has given birth to a new marketing strategy -- delaying some releases until first quarter and beyond. This, some believe, will enable gamers with limited funds to find desirable titles not only during the holiday season but into the new year as well.

At least, that's what analysts are saying; publishers, meanwhile, aren't saying much. Not one publisher contacted for this story was willing to talk on the record -- not Ubisoft, not Sega, not Activision Blizzard, not 2K, all of them with plans to delay titles into 2010.

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