Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Shh... Alpha Protocol release date, keep it under your hat!

Okay, now what the fuck is up with the release dates this year? First pretty much every game was delayed to "give it the time needed", or in Activision's case in a surprise moment of honesty, "not come out within three months of Call of Duty: Overpriced Warfare 2". While it's good that publishers are trying to thin out the number of games released in the always crowded Christmas period, they're all delayed to the same time next year - meaning the first few months of 2010 is going to be equally crowded!

To be honest, it's not the slipping, it's the ones that just slip out of my grasp that annoy me. I'll be going to China for a good long while on 23rd October, so that's the last possible day for me to buy a game from the shops. So when Dragon Age slipped from that week to just two weeks later, that made me annoyed. Oh, I'll still be able to download it (LEGALLY), but the install's about 20Gb with discs! Borderlands, if you slip too, I'll be ticked off.

But I'm more worried about Alpha Protocol.

Now I've got lots of hopes and worries about this game anyway. Right now the game is down for an 'October' release. That's just a few weeks away and still we don't have a proper release date.

Right now there must be serious arguments in Sega HQ about the game. They've been saying October all year, to slip it now will make them look incompetent and stupid. On the other hand, rushed release dates have spoiled all of Obsidian's other games and will get them some serious marking down if it happens to Alpha Protocol too.

However, there's one day in October that Gamestop is touting (Amazon UK's saying 4th Oct) and that's 27th October. In no way can Sega release an RPG using a Bioware graphics engine and style on that day, for the obvious reason that Dragon Age comes out a week later. No matter how different they are, Bioware are a known quantity for most people. PS3 owners burned by Mass Effect will want to see what the fuss is about, 360 fans of KOTOR and ME will consider it a must-have, and PC owners know Bioware pretty well by now.

So, yeah, don't release Alpha Protocol a week before a Bioware game, Sega. Release it on or before 23rd October, they're the best dates.

- Chris Capel

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