Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says the large number of games delayed past the 2009 holidays will leave the first half of 2010 overcrowded, resulting in some of them being pushed back even further.
The 2009 holidays went from feast to famine in a hell of a hurry for gamers as a string of high-profile releases expected for Christmas found themselves pushed back into 2010. Games like BioShock 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Red Steel 2, Max Payne 3 and more are all going to miss the mark, creating the rather ironic situation of an overcrowded post-holiday season.
"Now we have a situation where there are a lot of good games due for release in the first half of next year, but I think some publishers will move again," Guillemot said in an interview with MCV. "The first quarter of 2010 is looking pretty crazy. So I expect some movement from the other players - some of those delayed games will be moved again."
Don't expect the long-awaited new game in the Splinter Cell series to be among them, however; Guillemot said the game was postponed strictly as a matter of quality control and not because Ubisoft wanted to dodge Modern Warfare 2.
"That wasn't really the point - I would love to say that, and I'm sure Activision would love me to say that! But the truth is Splinter Cell wasn't at the point we wanted," he explained.
"The game itself still would have been good - even a great game. But we want it to be an excellent game, because the other games coming out are getting better all the time. So we said, why not? If we can delay it and benefit then that's a good thing," he said. "Plus there are loads of great games coming out this side of Christmas."
He may be right, although most publishers would probably never admit it. Nor would they have to; with many of the postponed games now targeted for the "first half of 2010," it gives them plenty of time to sort things out and avoid stepping on each other's toes. Whether it adds up to a more consistently balanced release schedule in the future is another matter entirely, but it sure would be nice, wouldn't it?