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Rock, Paper, Shotgun Call For Worldwide Game Release Dates

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the problems-that-could-totally-be-solved-by-emigration dept.

PC Games (Games) 161

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."

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161 comments

because it's not at all difficult... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583332)

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.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (5, Insightful)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583344)

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).

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583390)

wait, you seriously think that they'll make more money if they wait a few days to release it when it'll already be on the internet ready to pirate? huhwha?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1, Insightful)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583396)

You seriously think that if they could make more money by having global release dates, they wouldn't have done it already?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583436)

Maybe it's because the things traveling in the tubes are adverse to going to a penal colony?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583682)

Well we all know for sure that if they charged less their sales would increase more than enough to compensate, and yet they don't do it (temporary promotions aside).

So somebody somewhere must be stupid...

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583418)

If this was the case, do you not think they would release the games at the same time because they are loosing money?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

mezion (936475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583632)

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.

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 quite. They do it this because they have always done it this way. It began as logistic and rights issues, then moved to cultural and legal, and finally to money.
There is now a far simpler and easier method that everyone can access. This plays hob with their business plan

wait, you seriously think that they'll make more money if they wait a few days to release it when it'll already be on the internet ready to pirate? huhwha?

Sure, why not? It's worked for many years in multiple industries.
Unfortunately the internet came along, and become really fast in a small amount of time.

If this was the case, do you not think they would release the games at the same time because they are loosing money?

Because this way is proven to work, duh. :P
Besides, you know there's that piracy thing. That's why they're losing money...

Releasing games at the same time means you have to have multiple versions already made and approved for different markets, and delivered to stores globally and held until the release date. Holding and completely producing like that costs way more, especially when you can use the money from one market to pay the people to change it for a second market (not to mention the ships and trucks to deliver it there!). Now a chunk of the problem is gone.

At the end of the day, I think the problem is that the internet has lowered the use of publishers. You needed someone to make copies of your product securely (whether printing or making the boxed game), and to organize sales/shipping and advertising - otherwise your product won't reach the customer, or the customer won't buy it because it is unknown.
Now, you can deliver a non physical product. No shipping. Advertising everyone can see, in a place where everyone looks. Sales are handled by an online store that creates secure copies. Why do you need the publisher anymore?
It strikes me that the smart publisher is the one who has already figured this out, and sells things openly using these stores, securing his/her position as the "go-to guy". At the moment that appears to be the indie developers, as they face the problem of publishers turning them away.

Besides, would you willingly take a demotion from executive editor to sales clerk?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584002)

Tell that to music and film industry who insist on releasing CDs and DVDs (region coded to boot) on different dates regardless of the fact that they are loosing tons of money. Why should I wait for three extra months for them to release a film I want to see in my country if it's available in the US and I can download it in a matter of minutes?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584088)

With all these firms loosing money I wish they'd loose some my way.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583482)

Australia generally has releases of games, movies, music, etc on Thursdays. They have the convention of 'Late night shopping' on Thursdays, where retail outlets stay open until 9pm or later.

Therefore, yes, they probably can expect to make more money by having the release a few days later, on a Thursday.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583520)

Yes, this. I think the staggered release dates are more due to retail pressure than publishers delaying shit for the sheer hell of it. Every country has a day of the week where traditionally new music/movies/games etc. are released, however each country has a different date. I don't really think that game publishers have enough clout to force retailers into releasing new media on a different day, so the path of least resistance is just to stagger the game by a few days.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583612)

Make that region as the UK releases on Fridays the rest of Europe releases on Thursdays.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583834)

and also because they have to get extra capacity to handle all the downloads, and if everyone in the world was told to download on monday at noon GMT, the servers would collapse and no-one would get it.

As it is, a couple of days staggered release suggests that the overall 'download experience' will not be totally disastrous.

now, if they bittorrented it, it'd be a different matter and I'd expect simultaneous releases then.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

LazyBoot (756150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584264)

Isn't this one of the reasons why steam has a pre-load option?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584308)

Yes. While it used to be atrocious (think Half-Life 2's "preload", or lack thereof) it has gotten the infrastructure it needs over the last several years to handle massive amounts of bandwidth. I guess a client which hosts in excess of 3 million users at a time has to have some fat pipes pushing the data...especially when a good chunk of them are preloading a few gigs at a time.

Honestly, I rarely even purchase retail games anymore. For PC games (usually preferred) I get them through Steam if available. If they're DS or 360, I use Gamefly to check them out and use the "Keep it" option if I really enjoy the game and find it has high replay value.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583574)

And they're wrong: this sort of stupidity is practically *begging* for non-US people to pirate the stuff. These particular examples are actually a lot better than "normal": I get the impression from Yahtzee that it's not uncommon for AU to be months behind.

Given that most DRM is cracked within a handful of days, telling potential customers they can't buy your game even if they want to, when meanwhile there's a less-broken version of it available that they can download for free, doesn't sound like the smartest business plan to me...

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583602)

I don't think you grasp how volatile release dates tend to be. That aside, why would your distribution networks begin launching potentially millions of downloads on one day... at the same time. That just begs for any host of issues to befall the releases.

A decent example is in the MMO market, World of Warcraft launch. They produced 600k copies for what they expected a three month saturation target. Those 600k copies sold in two weeks. It took them months to recover and begin ramping up to what would ultimately be a multi-million user base.

Imagine if some how the release did not launch perfectly, or even if it did there were enough issues to simply flood customer service departments. You launch hundreds of thousands of copies expecting thousands of CS queries over the course of the first week, when you could distribute the release over the course of a month and in several regions. This kind of bursting nature will only lead to customer frustration and ultimately lost revenue. On top of that companies will mass temp hire customer service reps and temporary devs to handle the initial influx only to dump the vast majority of these as the games life cycle now becomes months shorter (on a global scale).

I am all for modular releases if it creates a better and more stable experience for the user.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583700)

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 espousing is in no way better than people who are ignorant of science and therefore decide that science is nonsense. Finally, why would they risk cocking it up, very few people gave even the slightest bit of a damn about a week delay, the small fraction that do just try and make up for it in excessive moaning.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584258)

Finally, why would they risk cocking it up, very few people gave even the slightest bit of a damn about a week delay, the small fraction that do just try and make up for it in excessive moaning.

A week is not a problem. But a month or three? (which is not unheard of - see release dates for the original Dawn of War and its expansions in the US and Europe). Thank you, but I'd rather download a copy from "alternative" sources and maybe buy the original once I can find it in a bargain bin.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

xded (1046894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583974)

... 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 see less advantage in doing so...

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584792)

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.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35585450)

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

This is my new favorite phrase. Unfortunately, I will almost certainly have many opportunities to use it today.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584936)

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 these sort of negotiations. Is it just an old habit to release games on a Thursday in the UK, or are retailers very attached to the day for some reason? First step is probably to find out why the current situation exists.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583350)

Which is fine if you're trying to explain weeks- or months-long delay... but two days? I'd be more interested in hearing whether or not Thursday is some sort of unofficial "release day" for music/movies/software in Australia like Tuesday is here in the US.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583652)

Thursday is actually a common release date for movies (at the cinema), while DVDs/BDs, music and software is pretty much staggered throughout the week, though generally between Tuesday to Thursday and hardly ever on the weekend.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583674)

It is - I still buy my stuff through steam though, and unlock it via a VPN if they give me any stick about US vs Aus release dates.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583368)

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 waiting for the Region 1 DVD will be to wait for some Swedish TV channel to work it into their schedule which can mean anything from a delay of a month or so to over six months (in case they want a bit of a "buffer" to deal with frequent breaks in US seasons).

So why can't us europeans get things right away? The answer seems to be the same for games and TV shows, distribution deals.

No one wants to piss off the major game importers/TV networks that pay big bucks to be the exclusive first source of boxed games/TV shows. The fact that they're basically irrelevant is of course ignored...

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583424)

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?

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583614)

Because Sony releases all games on PSN in every country at the same time?... NOOO.

It's the same shit here.

Since I live in Sweden I have to wait for the Germans and the French and the Spaniards to get their games translated before they release the game in Sweden (in English)...

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583504)

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.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584070)

BS

Blizzard do it just fine.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584108)

You forgot to add," The Japanese get the tech devices first. The Americans get the games first. Live with it."

You'd think they'd be grateful for those who endure the first release and find all the REAL bugs.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584358)

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.

Re:because it's not at all difficult... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584596)

Actually - it IS difficult.

It's naive to imagine that the exact same game goes to all of these places.

Firstly, there are different laws in different countries - if we have to make green blood and remove any hint of Nazi symbols for the German market. then that takes time. Secondly, it takes much more time for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to pass the game through their final acceptance processes for different countries. Thirdly (increasingly) in-game advertising is different in different parts of the world. Yet other reasons may relate to publication dates of key gamer magazines - availability of TV and movie theater advertising slots.

There are many reasons for some releases to be delayed relative to others.

    -- Steve

A modest proposal (3, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583338)

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.

Re:Generlization (2)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583572)

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 "steal" a copy of something which is not actually available for purchase is absurd to me. What are the damages? You don't sell it, so the damages are zero.

Re:Generlization (1)

ogapo (1420605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585542)

Wouldn't people just offer everything for "sale" at say $1 million? Then you would be "stealing" because you are depriving them of the million dollars you could have paid. Feel free to replace 1 million with "a number sufficiently large as to discourage sale, but low enough to evade any arbitrary cap or 'sanity test' that may be introduced in a misguided attempt to thwart this approach".

Re:A modest proposal (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583752)

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/two countries unless they can fund expansion through the initial release. Doing this now means they need to:
1/ Release a product globally, epically fail to support it and trash its reputation.
2/ Only release it in the countries they can actually support, and effectively lose the ability to sell anywhere else as everyone got it for free.
3/ Release via Steam or some other market, still not offering proper support for most countries and accepting that you can't publish truely independently anymore.

Of course the most obvious problem with your 'suggestion' is that it would encourage even more people (especially small developers) to make their products reliant on authorised access to a remote server. If your product can't work without someone having a (paid for) account, and active connection to your server (because it performs some essential computation) then you remove the risk of people getting the software for free because you haven't released there yet.

Re:A modest proposal (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583896)

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.

Re:A modest proposal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584472)

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 that we couldn't get past the Chinese censors until we removed that hated symbol of imperialist oppressors, the red cross (which, for some odd reason, was the icon for healing spells...). Again, just posting it on steam and letting chinese folks download it is Breaking The Law.

Sometimes for cultural reasons -- again in China... they respect the dead a lot there, culturally. In the US, skeletons and zombies are a staple of trash mobs in fantasy games. In parts of China, casually blowing up zombies is considered Very Offensive. The government wouldn't have stopped us on that one, but if we wanted to actually sell copies of the game, we had to reskin them (I forget what the artists did, but we found some other shambling slow thing created by evil magic as a stand-in for the zombies). Just posting the original on steam and letting them download it unchanged would have gotten a lot of potential customers pissed at us. Better to go the extra mile and customize it for that market, and end up with happy customers (who could still get a copy of the US version if they cared enough, we just made the easy version be the appropriate one for the market).

Sometimes for support reasons -- in many markets "no, we don't give you support", or "no support in your language" is, in fact, illegal. Consumer protection laws demand a minimum of support...

Sometimes for licensing reasons -- If you write a Harry Potter game, and license it for sale in the US... Did you realize that a different publisher has the rights to it in Europe? So your US license doesn't actually make it legal for you to sell it over there? This may be stupid, but they can sue you for big $ for infringement if you don't put in at least a minimal "you must be American to download this" gateway.

Sometimes for export reg reasons -- it's illegal to sell Stuff to countries on the Terrorist List, for example. This includes certain types of software. I _hope_ that doesn't include any of the stuff in my game, but it's not worth my time to find out in order to sell copies to the handful of gamers in Iran. Really. Not Worth My Time. This applies more often to hardware than software, but... Crypto software has been on that list in the past, and a lot of games encrypt client-server stuff, or encrypt data files, for example.

There is a non-trivial amount of effort that goes into these things. Even for the UK market, we translated the game -- British English is sufficiently far from American English that someone thought it worthwhile to put in the effort. For China, it was a good six month process to get it reviewed and translated and modified for market. For other countries we got bogged in legal and it took years to get approvals and licenses and such. If people in austrailia wanted to pirate a copy and connect to a US server, that's fine (we're an MMO, if you have a subscription we don't care much where you are or whether you bought the box)... but it's not worth the pain to "just put it on steam".

Re:A modest proposal (1)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584374)

... 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.

Re:A modest proposal (1)

muntis (1503471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584172)

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.

Make your own video games then (0)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583352)

The release date lag is just to remind you constantly that you suck at making video games, you're lucky we aren't charging you more. If there was any competition, make the release date late in the US for a couple hit games, and we'll get the message, until then, keep whining and be glad it's getting released for you at all.

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583374)

Don't let Nintendo hear about this. Pretty much all the best titles come from "non-USA" territory (i.e. Japan).

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583450)

And they still release US first. Maybe they hedge their bets on the quality of the product. So they release to half the market, the US, and figure if there is a major bug only half their market will need replacements.

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

wertigon (1204486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583694)

I think that has more to do with the US being the largest unified market in the world. The EMU region has a bit left to go with regards to that... Especially now that the Euro is failing big time because most member states thought it was a good idea to fuck up their economies.

Re:Make your own video games then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583408)

Last time I checked Crysis was developed by Crytek... which is a german company

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583498)

The big publishers don't have such jingoistic motives - they don't give a shit about the US at all. The game is all about abusing regional markets to maximise profit.

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583532)

Is making a game so good that I'm willing and glad to give them my money really abuse?

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583584)

How obtuse. They are using global reach to their advantage whilst locking consumers into regional markets, what would you call it... a reach-around? You might be "willing and glad" to give them money, but you are still getting screwed.

Local releases in the US often commands a much higher price then the same title overseas. This is why region codes and staggered release dates were invented in the first place.

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583660)

How obtuse. They are using global reach to their advantage whilst locking consumers into regional markets, what would you call it... a reach-around? You might be "willing and glad" to give them money, but you are still getting screwed.

Local releases in the US often commands a much higher price then the same title overseas. This is why region codes and staggered release dates were invented in the first place.

I hate to break it to you but the same game which you complain about paying $50 for in the USA would command a nice price tag of $90 here in Australia (and now that the AUD is worth more then the USD, WTF!)

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584136)

I hate to break it to you but the same game which you complain about paying $50 for in the USA would command a nice price tag of $90 here in Australia (and now that the AUD is worth more then the USD, WTF!)

Mod that post up.

Re:Make your own video games then (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584330)

"Local releases in the US often commands a much higher price then the same title overseas." - are you fucking insane? The US has the cheapest prices for media (games, CDs, films, bluray, DVD, books) in the developed world! Yes, stuff will be cheaper in Vietnam or China or wherever, but it'll be easily 2x the price in Europe, Japan, or Australia.

Who gives a damn. (1, Interesting)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583362)

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.

Re:Who gives a damn. (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583462)

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

Re:Who gives a damn. (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583510)

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.

Re:Who gives a damn. (1, Insightful)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584174)

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!

Re:Who gives a damn. (1)

deanbmmv (1922552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584530)

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."

Re:Who gives a damn. (1)

Guido von Guido (548827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584724)

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!

Re:Who gives a damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584782)

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!

But you're not a selfish little shit yourself, because you recognize the problem, yet choose to post on Slashdot to complain about the the original selfish little shits rather than doing something to solve malnutrition, war and persecution by governments. KUDOS! You're somehow better than them, yet not in a way which makes a damn bit of difference.

Nightly releases (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583364)

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.

Re:Nightly releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584564)

I completely agree. Movies bother me much more. Often, I can get a nice DVD rip before it's in the cinema over here. After having heard about it countless times, what do you think I will do?

Re:Nightly releases (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585446)

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

Regulations (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583386)

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.

Re:Regulations (1)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583486)

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.

Get off my lawn (2)

juventasone (517959) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Get off my lawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583996)

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!

Re:Get off my lawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584368)

Indeed. Take the Super Mario Bros. 3 release dates:

* JP October 23, 1988
* NA February 12, 1990
* PAL August 29, 1991

1,5 years from Japan to North America, and then ANOTHER 1,5 years from North America to Europe? I rest my case.

Re:Get off my lawn (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584434)

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.

Cost them one (1) sale, at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583416)

Dragon Age 2 was released in the US a few days before it was release elsewhere in the world. Wondering how good the game was, I hopped on and had a look at the forums, and saw a huge number of people (more than I would have expected) posting about how they were having issues with the game. Decided I didn't want to risk paying for a game that might not work at all reliably for me, so I got a refund for my pre-order off Steam.

Guess that delayed release worked out pretty well for them, huh? Had the game been released on the same day worldwide, I wouldn't have been able to do that, and I would have been stuck with a (potentially) buggy game.

I find it more annoying with TV shows, where I'm unable to legally purchase digital versions... Movies are pretty annoying, as my only choice is iTunes, far as I'm aware (and hey look, serious DRM!).

Why? (1)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583492)

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?

Re:Why? (1)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583512)

You fail to understand the power of "But we've always done it this way."

Re:Why? (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583568)

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...

Re:Why? (1)

thyrial (1429239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583810)

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...)

dirty socks, diapers & nukes; famine relief dr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583598)

best bets; everyone (on our planet) voluntarily disarm yourselves. carry on as it was originally intended for all of us. we instinctively know what that is.

highly wagered longshots; eugenatics, weapons peddlers, kings/minions, genetically altered mutants/hired goons. media decepticons, adrians, religiously infactdead groanups, fake weather/induced seismicity 'scientists' etc... hold on to your equatorial equilibrium.

so, we'll also then expect to see you at any one of the million babys+
play-dates, conscience arisings, georgia stone editing(s), & a host of
other life promoting/loving events. guaranteed to activate all of our
sense(s) at once. perhaps you have seen our list of pure intentions for
you /us, beginning with disarmament?

in the end...in the middle... & from the beginning, babys rule. fore each of the innocents harmed in any way...

You know you live a good life... (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583658)

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

Re:You know you live a good life... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583748)

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 country of origin. The internet is flat. Let's keep it that way.

Re:You know you live a good life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584586)

Video games aren't a service. Drawing China into an argument about intellectual property releases in Europe is stupid. Last I checked, free market video game releases don't control the Chinese government's censorship.

Marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583672)

I thought this was because of how marketing was done, and that games are usually released mid-week in the US, and friday in Europe.

It's still pretty dumb that they don't release it at the same time. I might pirate a game I plan on buying, and if it's not as good as I thought, then I might end up not buying it after all...

3 days? Thats nothing... (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

They are really just hurting themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583852)

By delaying a release by 3-4 days etc all the companies do is hurt themselves.

This is what they loose by delaying a release:

1) The guides, walkthroughs and cheats are already available BEFORE people in other countries can even play the game
2) It's available on torrent straight away (So even if you have bought the game, you might still download a pirate copy to play the single player, skewing the figures)
3) If your game is bad, you just lost a load of sales (because people in the UK etc will find out - as these days they stop reviews until release day eg MW2)
4) You upset your customer base
5) People will buy from the states (post/Steam) and so your marketing data is all wrong (2% increase in US sales = 20% decrease in UK sales - ie 20,000 copies say)

The best example so far is Homefront, which THQ did a deal with GAME to stop Steam sales in the UK. When you consider Steam is REQUIRED to play the game, it hurts your reputation (NB you can still play the game using Steam, you just can't but a copy via steam!!)

We wait too sometimes (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583872)

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.

Initial review of Lego Star Wars III by my wife (0)

rikkards (98006) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583894)

"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 one alone which is unfortunate since usually these type of games we play together.

If the US gets release preference (2)

thyrial (1429239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583902)

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 gnashed and the clothes rent in anguish by many scifi forums when the first series of Battlestar Galactica was shown first on Sky in the UK and Ireland(not the miniseries, but the first full series) a few month or so early. To the point where the the creators came out to apologize and beg people not to torrent it. The following seasons all debuted in the states first , any grumblings were met with "whatevs..lol"

And? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584050)

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. The cruft that I got for free actually had some worthwhile bits. The stuff that I bought "on a whim" because it looked nice but was "new" and unreviewed I almost universally regretted even if it only cost a few pounds)

And in the end, the only people hurt are the companies that do that. If a game is crap and you stagger release, the last people to get it will already know it's crap and not bother. But if you'd had a simultaneous release, you could have got a LOT more sales before people found out. Unscrupulous, yes, but good business sense. If the game was good, it'll get pirated before people have the opportunity to buy and they might well complete the game before it's available for sale and hence never end up buying it.

I can slightly understand staggering if the game is going to put a huge burden on your servers but if you're releasing such a game without using continent-specific servers anyway, then you're wasting your time.

The only people it really hurts are idiots that buy things they have no idea about on day one in order to stay "fashionable" in their gaming tastes, and the companies that stagger releases deliberately. No loss to myself on either count, there, really.

Rule #1: Don't pay for anything you can't try, play a demo of, get a full refund for, or test for a long time before you deploy.

My Ancestors left for a reason (1)

ShadowFoxx (2015582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584164)

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.

Re:My Ancestors left for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35585080)

Or 1/2 left for somewhere they could keep the other 1/2 as slaves.

promoting piracy (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584188)

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.

slashvertisment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584348)

how much were you paid to do some name-dropping for this gayass RPS "game site"?

Don't like it? The move! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584422)

We may drawl our vowles, but we get the games first.
You want it early move to the good ole USA...

We don't hear much complaining when you folks across the pond need our help...

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