In 2007, roughly 56 percent of revenues for the game industry came between September 1 and December 31. That means the other 44 percent of revenues occured during the first eight months of the year. It's a traditional sales set-up for the industry and that usually means that with just a few exceptions, the first eight months of the year don't have a lot of major game releases. Indeed the spring and summer months tend to be the slowest times of the year.
2008, however, is already shaping up to be a little different than previous years. Already in the first three months of 2008 we have had a number of major new game releases, from Burnout Paradise, to Devil May Cry, to Frontlines Fuel of War, and more. The PC game space has already generated a surprise hit in Sins of a Solar Empire. Last week Nintendo's newest Wii game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, did some smashing of its own; it sold over 1.4 million copies in its first week.
Clearly the year is starting out strong in term of game sales (despite the news from the real world that we are likely in am economic recession), and as spring officially begins this week it's also clear that the next few months will not lack for game releases that would feel right at home in the fall/holiday sales time period. Indeed one game in particular may become the best selling game of the year, despite whatever else might be released this fall. Hopefully this is a new trend of game publishers not waiting around to cram in all of their major titles in one small time period.
Regardless, the current spring 2008 game line-up is shaping to be one of the most memorable in recent history. FiringSquad has taken a look at the upcoming slate spring 2008 games and we have created our list of the titles that we are most looking forward to checking out in the next three months until the official beginning of summer (Keep in mind that release dates on these games are tentative and as always are subject to change).
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2:
We are fudging a little bit by putting UbiSoft's tactical shooter on this list since it ships to stores this week a couple of days before spring begins. However the first Las Vegas based game in the long running game series was a major best seller for the publisher when it was released in November 2006 for the Xbox 360 and December 2006 for the PC (the PS3 version had to wait until August 2007). Rainbow Six Vegas 2's storyline actually takes place both before and after the events of the first game with a new character creation system, better AI in the single player game, and more as Team Rainbow takes on terrorists around Sin City once again. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are out now; the PC version is due for release in mid April.