This Week in Gaming (5/1-5/8): Fallout 4’s Far Harbor Gets Release Date, Battlefield 1 Announced, Street Fighter 5 Sales Disappoint
This week in gaming was home to quite a few developments and stories, and fans certainly had no shortage of information to digest, including release date reveals and much more. Let’s recap all of this week’s gaming information!
Fallout 4 Expansion Far Harbor Gets a Release Date
Fallout 4 fans will have even more content to enjoy on May 19th, when the game’s biggest DLC package to date, Far Harbor, launches. It’s also worth noting that this launch date will be universal, across the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Like many, I love Fallout 4 and am incredibly excited for Far Harbor. The core game is excellent, and the DLC that’s been released thus far has been similarly enjoyable. As it so happens, the Season Pass was a great investment, albeit one that I was tentative to adopt, given some relatively underwhelming Season Pass experiences in the past.
Here’s to Far Harbor!
Battlefield 1 Announced by EA for October 2016
This year’s Battlefield installment will simply be titled Battlefield 1, and is scheduled to release on October 21st (but can be played on the 18th for EA Origin members and those who pre-order the Deluxe Edition).
The game is set during World War 1, and based upon the released trailer(s) and gameplay, it looks as though fans of the series will have a great time with this entry.
Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with the Battlefield series since purchasing Battlefield 3, just as I haven’t played any of the recent Call of Duty games at launch, or recent Assassins Creed games at launch, and so on and so forth.
Variety truly is the spice of life, and I have a hard time getting excited for the same core gameplay and style of software every year when annual installments release. While I do not doubt the quality of these titles that release most every year (I had a great time playing each of the series, at one point), I just can’t help but feel burned out, and despite the massive reception of titles like Battlefield and COD, I think many other gamers are starting to feel the same way.
Moreover, from a business perspective, it’s questionable as to whether or not pumping out annual installments is a good idea. Many will remember the overwhelming abundance of Guitar Hero titles that Activision released, which more than likely led to the public’s general fatigue with the series. The big releases of today that are able to be enjoyed for years and years—Uncharted games, Fallout entries, anything Rockstar makes, and Gears of War games, for instance—probably utilize the best development and release cycle around.
It’s understandable that certain franchises will be designed and released around an annual installment system while others will take longer to make and release. But, the real problem is encountered when companies like Ubisoft find a title that sells well because it’s had so much time in development, and then proceed to try and “annualize” the series that it belongs to.
Call of Juarez is a perfect example of this. The first title was solid and sold reasonably well. A few years after this initial entry, a sequel—Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood—was released to excellent reviews and sales.
Then, just two years after Bound in Blood hit store shelves, Call of Juarez: The Cartel was released. Surprise, surprise, the game sold poorly and was greeted by negative reviews, as it simply wasn’t good.
Then a digital entry, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, was released (and was pretty good). Since its release, though, the series has been shelved. Three years have passed since the last COJ game was released, and the point is that if Ubisoft hadn’t rushed The Cartel out so soon to scoop up as much immediate profit as possible, the franchise could have adopted a normal and successful life cycle, which would be good for fans and financial statements alike.
Back on topic, Battlefield 1 should be enjoyable for fans, but probably won’t be a groundbreaking bit of software, but you can put in pre-orders as it always moves quickly.
Street Fighter 5 Sales Less Than Anticipated, According to Capcom
Street Fighter 5, despite its quality and positive reviews, hasn’t sold quite as well as Capcom was hoping, according to recently released financial statements. Nevertheless, the world-famous Japanese company has seen profits rise from last year to this one.
I probably made quite a few readers angry with my statements regarding annual releases above, so I’ll just go ahead and keep pace with this: Street Fighter 5’s sales are underwhelming because gamers have lost faith in Capcom as a whole—primarily due to the train wreck that is the Resident Evil series.
After Resident Evil 4 (which is one of the greatest games of all time) was released, it looked as though Capcom would dominate the survival horror industry, and even the video game industry as a whole, for quite a while to come. Resident Evil 5 released sometime later (after a number of less-than-notable, but not overly damaging, entries), and was reasonable; some changes weren’t great, but largely, the title made use of the mechanics that allow RE4 to be held in such high regards.
Then came Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 6, which in addition to destroying old memories of beloved characters (the Leon in ORC wasn’t the Leon that I know and love), weren’t horror games. They were medium-quality action titles that successfully abandoned most every component of the once again state-of-the-art formula that made RE4 so darn good (and so profitable).
These titles alienated RE fans as well as Capcom fans—something which, in terms of the well-known Resident Evil series, won’t be a very big problem (at least not yet), but for lesser-known series like Street Fighter, will have a massive impact.
That’s it for this week’s gaming recap. Be sure to leave any angry comments you may have below, and remember to stay tuned in here for the latest news—gaming and otherwise!