Spreading the cheer, all year round
Last updated on March 26, 2011 at 04:43 PM

In my double doozy decades of being a gamer, I've witnessed many things that I never would have thought would occur:

  • Longtime rivals Square and Enix joining forces and becoming the Voltron-like Square Enix (SquEnix).

  • Microsoft not only jumping into the console arena, but doing so very well. Trust me, I was one of the many who dismissed the Xbox when it debuted.

  • I'm not trying to jinx anything here, but the eventual release of "Duke Nukem: Forever" makes me believe I might see a functioning M2 someday.

  • A plethora of "Final Fantasy" characters getting together in a fighting game and limp-wristedly slapping each other while crying in a fashion most Emo, with it actually being fun.

But, if I were to pick one thing I never thought would occur, one change in the fundamental fabric of the video game industry that Doc Manhattan would "long to see," it's the concept that triple-A titles can exist and be sold outside the confines of the holiday season. As much sense as it makes, nope, uh-uh, ain't never gonna happen.
Oh? "Portal 2" is set to hit stores in April? Well, I suppose Easter is a holiday.

A new "Red Faction" March 30, you say? "Mortal Kombat" on April 19? That doesn't sound very Easter-y. "Lord of the Rings: War in the North" is calling May its home, with nary a major federal holiday in sight (Mother's Day only counts if your mother happens to still be in love with Aragorn, and anyone not planning on camping, grilling and armed services recognizing for Memorial Day might as well be brought up before HUAC, posthaste).

Heck, "Infamous 2" is coming out in June. June, people! For the past 15 years I've been operating under the misguided assumption that there was some official moratorium on big game releases while the weather is nice so we, as gamers, might get out and get a little sun-soaked Vitamin D action.

On reflection, though, that's a little silly. After all, if the unwashed, controller-wielding faithful were forced outside en masse (most likely moaning "Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioshock" in a manner most disturbing) it's likely to scare everyone else back inside. The sheer upswing in dine-in pizza sales would probably strain the cheese industry to the point of collapse.

The point (and what a glorious one it is) is that finally there's more to do for three quarters of the year than just go back to running raids with the ol' guild. Spreading out the release schedule (which had become so heavily weighted toward the golden apple of Christmas retail that it threatened to squash New Year's Day into a wine-sodden pancake) gives all of a better chance of being able to play all the games we've been salivating over.
No more (or at least fewer) tough birthday-money decisions between "Call of Duty" or the latest IP from Bioware is something I can wholeheartedly get behind.

Now we just need to convince everyone that sequels need only be if there are good ideas to back them up, and the world is one step closer to utopia. Sweet, Mountain Dew and Cheetos sodden utopia.

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