Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PC Games (Games) Games

Rock, Paper, Shotgun Call For Worldwide Game Release Dates 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the problems-that-could-totally-be-solved-by-emigration dept.
deanbmmv quotes a plea from gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun for game makers to stop delaying game releases in continents with lower per capita cheeseburger consumption: "Crysis 2 comes out today! And Lego Star Wars III! Hooray! Except of course, only if you drawl your vowels. These two big games are out in America only today. Crysis 2 reaches Australia on Thursday, and the finally completes its journey to Europe by Friday. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is taking a three day journey to Europe to reach us by Friday, before then walking to Australia to eventually be released eight days after its US launch. We've had enough. ... There’s an internet now. It’s changed everything. Once we were separate nations kept apart by vast spreads of water. But the internet contains no oceans. The time was a game could come out in North America and we’d not hear about it until the boats arrived carrying news from the new country. But now we can see the Steam page, the giant clocks on the game websites counting down to a day that means nothing, the launch trailers and excitable press releases about something we can’t have yet."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun Call For Worldwide Game Release Dates

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    to coordinate a release across multiple cultural, logistical, and legal boundries.

    there's a reason why it happens like it does, and it's not because the publishers want it that way.

    • by Spyware23 (1260322) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:34AM (#35583344) Homepage

      Right. You undertake a multi-million project over the course of years and you can't sync logistics & legal? Come on, bullshit. The reason they release games on different dates now must be that they think they can make more money that way (money always is the reason).

      • by N1AK (864906)
        Of course it's because they think it makes them more money, that's so blindly obvious I can't really understand why it's even worth bringing up. What you've let completely fly over your head, is that they think staggering the releases, which has benefits in terms of supply chain, media and advertising support etc is why it will make them more money.

        The fact your ignorant of the complexities involved in managing those areas of a business and project effectively does not make them simple. The view your esp
        • The fact you're ignorant . . .

          speaking of ignorance . . .

          • since the poster makes perfectly valid points, and the grammar does not detract from them one bit, I'll have to assume when people are "speaking of ignorance....", *you* show up because you feel addressed or something? otherwise, what would be the meaning of your post? and to that I say: ignore ants! haha =D

      • by xded (1046894)

        ... they think they can make more money that way (money always is the reason).

        Now, supposing the pirate version of a game is not released even before the first day of availability, it is likely it will spread out in "usual protocols" some days after it. Shouldn't they foresee a money loss if the only option for gamers to play will be through illegal means? How is that going to bring them money?

        If the pirate version is stable and the game is not mainly multiplayer, once gamers go down the pirate road they're unlikely to buy the game after the official release. Or, at least, they will

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Right. You undertake a multi-million project over the course of years and you can't sync logistics & legal? Come on, bullshit. The reason they release games on different dates now must be that they think they can make more money that way (money always is the reason).

        Not disagreeing with your logic, it's sound but still pants on head retarded.

        In Australia a game costs A$90, in USD thats $90.10, considering we have no restrictions on media exports delaying release in the US and Europe would theoretically net more money by making early adopters in the US and Europe import at higher prices... yet Australia is the last to get anything.

        Maybe I shouldn't be giving them ideas.

      • by mike2R (721965)
        As I understand it, it is just regarding (bricks and mortar) retail habits in different territories. US game retailers like to release on a Tuesday, the UK on a Thursday.

        There isn't much point in a publisher fighting with its retail channel over a matter like this, so they don't. But as digital distribution increases, and with the ever present piracy issue, it may start to make financial sense for publishers to insist.

        Or maybe not. I don't think anyone outside the industry really knows much about the
      • so... you play GAMES, and you can't wait a bunch of days for them? now THAT is bullshit ^^

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      Actually, the current releases are already coordinated, they're just not done on the same day.

      It's a bit like with TV shows, a show is aired in the US on say, march 25th. Within a few hours of airing it is available as a paid-for download as well as a torrent. Six months later the region 1 DVD of the season with that episode comes out in the US, a few months later the region 2 DVD is released (only to be followed by the Bluray release). Of course, here in Sweden the only legal way to watch the show short of

    • Sony has the right idea in this. Allowing digital downloadable versions of their games available on day of release. Otherwise surely your opening your game up to a little more piracy?
    • If you're talking in terms of work done and ignoring funding given, then sorting out cultural, logistic and legal issues is the only job the publisher has. If they're not doing that job, then they're just treating the game developers as a money fountain rather than being part of a business.
    • Nope. It's pretty much because it's how they want it. It's the same principle as region coding and such at work. The only reason the difference is expressed in days & not months to years is piracy. If they wait too long, they'll get pirated to hell & back.
    • by lpq (583377)

      Damn, can't mark the above down for 'idiot'...

      Um, and how is it that 'steam' has problems crossing multiple cultural,
      logistical and legal boundaries?

      It's not being censored...so...tell me how "Steam's" bits take 8 days to get to Australia.... It was 'steam' that was specifically mentioned...

  • A modest proposal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:34AM (#35583338) Journal

    Now in an ideal world - which is to say a completely implausible world that exists only in my frenzied imagination - copyright protections would not apply to works that were "released" globally but not available in your territory. Which would, in most cases, give the industry a choice between "simultaneous worldwide releases" or "three days of legal, state endorsed piracy-mania in Europe".

    Yes, I know there are a billion and one reasons why this would never happen, but I still smile at the thought.

    • If you won't sell it to me, and I can acquire it without depriving anyone else of it, no government-endorsed monopoly protections apply.

      This would include, for example:
      - Movie studios owning the "rights" to a film, while having no intention of actually making that film
      - Patent trolls, who do not actually create the product which they own the exclusive right to produce
      - Anyone who sells a product which is intentionally broken (DRM, DVD regions, etc)

      The idea that it is illegal to "stea

      • by tepples (727027)

        The idea that it is illegal to "steal" a copy of something which is not actually available for purchase is absurd to me. What are the damages?

        Unfair competition with the author's other works.

    • by N1AK (864906)
      How is that an ideal world? You didn't even stop to consider the natural implications of this policy if it were put in place.

      EA can afford to go for global release on all titles. The cost to them is a small amount of inconvience, perhaps having to delay US release a day or two, or drop some foriegn lang versions (and leave them with English versions only).

      Indie developers on the other hand are fucked. They can't support a global release, in fact, they might not be planning on releasing outside of one/
      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        The whole point behind TFA is that online distribution methods have made the "international release" thing pretty trivial. You even mention Steam in your own post - and Steam is by no means the only option. The "support" issue is pretty much redundant. If your game has a bug you need to patch, said patch doesn't really need too much in the way of regional variation. And hey, I never said anything about obliging people to provide translations.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Several governments, however, _do_ have things to say about providing translations of products sold in their territories.

          Sometimes for linguistic reasons, for example "protecting the integrity of the French Language".

          Sometimes for ratings reasons -- in Australia, you have to go through the ratings/censorship board before you can legally sell to them. "Just post it on steam and let people download from .au" means your publisher is breaking the law.

          Sometimes for governmental reasons -- I worked on a game tha

      • by qc_dk (734452)

        ... perhaps having to delay US release a day or two, or drop some foriegn lang versions (and leave them with English versions only).

        Oh the horror. How would I know what to do without translations like: "please click bypass on tabletop to send agenda into space." I hate it when I get a translated version, because it's invariably done by someone with no knowledge of computers or the language or indeed both.

    • by muntis (1503471)
      Completely agree with you. And that applies to other media too. Why should I wait for movie to arrive to my country a month or in worst cases 6 months after premiere? For some content it wont arrive at all. For example, The Big Bang Theory has season 4 already and there is no channel available that would even start showing season 1. And I technically live in Europe not some "mambo jambo" island in the middle of ocean.
    • copyright protections would not apply to works that were "released" globally but not available in your territory. Which would, in most cases, give the industry a choice between "simultaneous worldwide releases" or "three days of legal, state endorsed piracy-mania in Europe".

      So your solution is to stop having them call it "globally-released", and instead call it "US-released"?

      Which would, in most cases, give the industry a choice between "simultaneous worldwide releases" or "three days of legal, state endors

  • Who gives a damn. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jpapon (1877296)
    This is due to the distribution networks and traditional release days for games. Changing this would require a significant shift in infrastructure and all that nonsense. I'm sure it will inevitably happen, but there's quite a bit of inertia to overcome.

    Also, You have to wait *gasp* THREE WHOLE DAYS longer than Johnny over in the USA before you can play your game? Poor kid. Sometimes life just isn't fair.

    • by maroberts (15852)

      T

      Also, You have to wait *gasp* THREE WHOLE DAYS longer than Johnny over in the USA before you can play your game? Poor kid. Sometimes life just isn't fair.

      In actual fact, it may not be fair in the case of online games which have global servers. US addicts to a new game will have a 3 day head start to amass game experience/money/whatever over their brethren worldwide, and therefore will be forever at an advantage because they may be several levels ahead/ have better equipment in PvP combat etc

      • Money; as the money aspect becomes more important, the need for simultaneous releases will be more apparent. I'm sure circumvention and proxy services will crop up as more money is involved.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        In actual fact, it may not be fair in the case of online games which have global servers. US addicts to a new game will have a 3 day head start to amass game experience/money/whatever over their brethren worldwide, and therefore will be forever at an advantage because they may be several levels ahead/ have better equipment in PvP combat etc

        In which case, games should be sold for one day only - since if said US person couldn't get to the store for a few days, they're hopelessly screwed in online gameplay. Bu

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by scdeimos (632778)

      Also, You have to wait *gasp* THREE WHOLE DAYS longer than Johnny over in the USA before you can play your game? Poor kid. Sometimes life just isn't fair.

      Indeed. There are people dying from malnutrition, war and persecution by their own government. And these selfish little shits are complaining about having to wait a day or three to play a computer game. FFS!

      • by deanbmmv (1922552)
        RTFA "It’s not the most important issue facing society today, of course not. But we’re a site about playing games, so our priorities are pretty well set in perspective from the start."
      • Indeed. There are people dying from malnutrition, war and persecution by their own government. And these selfish little shits are complaining about having to wait a day or three to play a computer game. FFS!

        By that logic, what the hell are you doing posting anything on Slashdot? FFS!

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:38AM (#35583364) Homepage

    Next up; a demand for products to be released worldwide at the same timezone-corrected GMT-based time.

    Yes, it's annoying the marketing idiots seems to ignore the rather significant market of "the rest of the world", but a few days isn't too bad, is it?

    I'm much more annoyed by movies (not only because I don't play any games) which sometimes seem to be released over half a year later here in Europe. Most annoyingly, dumbfuck movies like "Big Momma 3" are released on time, whereas good movies can take several months. Then again; a good movie doesn't go bad in half a year.

    • by omglolbah (731566)

      No worries, the scene-release is international :p

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Movies aren't that bad in my opinion, TV series are much worse. Fortunately, I'm not bothered too much with this problem.

  • Let the games be released with no extra regulations to hop through, and they would always be released at the same time. Make companies hop through a million hoops, ban some games entirely from your country/continent, and yes, it might be a day or two delay. I'm surprised there isn't a lot more backlash.
    • by qmaqdk (522323)

      So it only takes three days extra to figure out the extra regulations? And that couldn't have been foreseen or planned for?

      And, by the way, Crytek is a german company. One would think they know how to release a game in Europe.

  • by juventasone (517959) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:48AM (#35583400)
    A few days.. really? I remember regularly waiting years for games to make their way from the "Famicon" to my Nintendo. Yes, they're the same platform.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Luxury. We used to have to get up at the crack of dawn, beg for the privilege to build our own machine to play the game on, 6 months before it was released, wait a week for it just to load once we got it and when we finally were able to play, it'd burst into flames and catch the whole room on fire, IF WE WERE LUCKY!

    • Of course they're the same, it was the Nintendo Famicom. Oh, you mean NES. Right.

      The game releases for the NES were in a different language to the Famicom, and in a lot of cases were altered for the target market (games were made easier for the American release). That takes a while.

      This isn't a translation delay though, the translations take months and are already well over with by this point. This is them releasing on different dates because they can.

    • I doubt you waited years, mostly because then we had little idea what games had actually been released in Japan, let alone if they were good enough to wait for. Yeah, I got SMB3 in 1990, whatever.

  • Why would you do it? Is the American market so lucrative that you can risk both piracy from the impatient and pissing off your customers abroad? What possible reasoning lead a good part of the industry to do something like this?

    • by KiwiRed (598427)
      You fail to understand the power of "But we've always done it this way."
      • by HappyDrgn (142428)

        Yea, its always been that way. Except back in the 80's it was Japan getting the preference. We in the US would often wait years for games to make it here. I cant really have much sympathy for days...

        • by thyrial (1429239)

          Yea, its always been that way. Except back in the 80's it was Japan getting the preference. We in the US would often wait years for games to make it here. I cant really have much sympathy for days...

          at least you got releases , a lot of stuff never saw a European(and more specifically a UK/IRL release...)

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Because, Fuck you. That's why.

  • ...when you're biggest problem is having to wait three days to play a game.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And in the same line of reasoning:
      You know you have a good life when your biggest problem is ... ... being beyond iTunes "iron curtain" (You can't buy Tunes from iTunes, only apps - in many countries, itunes only sells apps.) ... having to pay more for ANY digital content than an US citizen (including digital newspaper subscriptions, again in most countries, uncertain about UK though) ... no access to Gmail (China), or BBC (still China).

      I really don't think it's fair to deny service to users based on their

    • by tepples (727027)
      Three days? Try over 34,000 days to legally play Mother or Mother 3 outside Japan.
  • Eat more cheeseburgers.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @05:30AM (#35583784)

    Sometimes the delays for games making it to Australia can be a lot longer than 3 days.

    Like the recent Ghostbusters FPS. Atari (the publisher of the game after Activision sold the publishing deal to them) pulled some crap and did a deal with Sony where the game was exclusive to the PlayStation console in Australia for a couple of months.

    Many fans of this game were pissed off at this (myself included). Once it became known that the US 360 version didnt have region locks and would run on EU/AU 360s, a lot of them just said "Screw you Sony/Atari" and imported the game from the states. I suspect a lot of PC players just pirated it.

    All that the limited-time exclusivity did was to result in a lot of lost sales from people who would have quite happily bought the game if they didnt have to wait so long for it.

  • There are many games released in Japan that will take a long time to reach any western markets, if they do at all. Sure it's because of localization more so than distribution channels but it's still a wait.
  • "I don't like it."

    It is different than previous games and I too am hoping it changes. If you think about the arena level in the Complete Saga (or the first one) and pull the camera way out and add a shitload of enemies and the big monsters, the first two levels are like that. It is less of puzzles and more shooting. Some might like that.

    The other I didn't like is way too many cutscenes. There were at least 4 in the first level.

    We shall see if it gets any better but I have a feeling I will be playing this on

  • The problem is most big tech/gaming sites are US based. If the US gets release preference , the internet community usually isnt bothered , and anyone complaining is a whiner,baby, impatient etc. If the US doesn't get release preference , its histories greatest tragedy, internet petitions are raised , individuals threatened, people are setting themselves on fire in front of EA's head office , "cats and dogs living together , end of the world people..". Not gaming based but I remember the teeth that were gn
  • by ledow (319597)

    Only affects you if you think that you have to have a game on release day.

    A lot of people, myself included, won't TOUCH a new game for at least a couple of weeks. Bugs, DRM, overloaded servers, patches, updates, problems. No thanks. I spend enough of my time fixing things like that without having to subject myself to it voluntarily for a piece of entertainment.

    (On Steam last Christmas, I bought about 100 games. It cost me about £100. The ones that I checked and reviewed I ended up loving.

  • 1/2 of my forefathers were brought to this country as slaves, where they earned a faught for thier freedom. The other 1/2 of my forefathers left your God foresaken country for a reason... That reason was better video gaming.
  • These delayed releases for anything, be it games, movies or music, promote piracy. Why wait 3 days (or months in some cases) for something to appear in the store if you can just download it now? The whole control of distribution is no longer there, so any company that wants to make money, should not try and use controlled distribution as a money vehicle. Focus on membership fees for online gameplay, added features, bonus things only available to people with a genuine product key and all that.
  • Where do I sign?

    Let's be honest here: Having all the Internet hype about something, no matter if it's a game, movie or something else, and not being able to get it is one of the major contributors to piracy. If you don't realize that, you're an idiot. There is this multi-million dollar marketing campaign that has one and only one goal: To make you want this, right now. And then you can't. But The Pirate Bay has a copy...

    I've said this before: There are roughly three groups of people with respect to piracy v

    • Really, do these highly paid management guys know anything about how the world works?

      Not from what I've seen...

      The primary qualification for high management isn't a deep understanding of human nature, after all: it's being buddies with the right rich people, or just being rich enough yourself. Just because someone is a good schmoozer or was able to make a bundle off something doesn't mean they understand how people's minds work. (And that's ignoring the ones who were just born to wealth...).

      Between my wife's job and mine (or rather, my former one; my new one is much more pleasant), I've se

  • I'm looking forward to the first installment of the new IL-2 series of flight simulator games, IL-2: Cliffs of Dover here in the U.S. but while gamers in the UK and Australia will be enjoying the game in 1 week (March 31st) we Americans have to wait until April 19th. Given the fact that it may be a digital-only game and there is no real language difference here, what is the point of this?
  • I think it's rather interesting that the OP is outraged that the game is taking so long to reach Europe and Australia, all righteous mentioning worldwide distribution, but he completely failed to mention Latin America, which is known to have (both in and out of Slashdot) gamers just as keen to obtain these new releases, and for which the piracy argument is hammered with a lot more gusto. On that same vein, shall I mention Africa as well? Last time I checked South Africa, for one, has a rather decent market
    • by boxwood (1742976)

      I also heard a rumour that there were a few gamers in Asia as well.

      But in all seriousness, I think the article was focusing on english speaking gamers. People in Latin America probably want the game in either spanish or portuguese and its understandable that it would take some extra time to get everything translated and dubbed.

      Yeah people in South Africa speak english, also India too, but I don't think the article needs to be that exhaustive to make its point.

      • by Meneguzzi (935620)
        My bad about Asia, but in my defence at least in Japan and to some extent even China they are the gaming Mecca, they have games that will never see the light of day in the west. Many of my friends that are even more into gaming than I am have learned Japanese partly to be able to play some of those imports. And about English skill, most people who game have at least a cursory grasp of English, and in fact use games as an important tool to learn the language. I am myself a native speaker of Portuguese, and a
  • different countries have different censorship laws, different boards that have to give approval, etc. I'm sure if these things didn't exist then these games would be released at the same time everywhere.

    Instead they focus on getting their rating from the ESRB first so they can get it out to the biggest market first. The Australian ratings board is more picky, it takes more time, and they may have to make some changed to the game before it can be approved. The UK has some very strange rules on what is unacce

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin

Working...