October 8th, 2009

Hype DMS LosAngeles Graffiti Art by Flickr user anarchosynWhen the PC version of Assassin’s Creed 2 was pushed to 2010, I knew that my fall would not go as I had planned. And I was right — for the PC versions of multiplatform games, this fall has been, and will continue to be, an odd one. Borderlands’ PC release, for example, has been delayed one week for “optimization,” and since Gearbox has said in the past that PC is Borderlands’ lead platform, I think a more likely reason is that 2K wanted to give the console versions a week where they didn’t compete with .torrents of the PC version – a futile act. Still, the promise of add-ons would keep me from playing Borderlands on release day anyway, just as with Fallout 3. Similarly, the purported delay of Modern Warfare 2 PC (though it may only apply to the UK) doesn’t dissuade me from buying it on November 10th as much as its $60 price. There were also rumors leading up to Alpha Protocol’s delay; paying customers, including myself, were not sure of their validity until October 6th, the day it was meant to release. Even then, there was no formal announcement – the game simply didn’t launch, and Sega updated their store to say “Spring 2010.” Were I not confident in Obsidian’s ability to deliver, I’d ask for my money back.

What will I be buying? Brutal Legend is due next week, and barring a critical lashing, I’ll allow my pre-order to fill. I expect that it will come to PC eventually, but I’d prefer to forgo the months of dodging spoilers. Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony launches on October 29th, and I can see myself buying that if I’m not still busy with Brutal Legend. November is my month for PC purchases, with Dragon Age: Origins on the 3rd, and Left 4 Dead 2 on the 17th. Although I didn’t feel the need to boycott, I still wasn’t ecstatic at the announcement of Left 4 Dead 2. It felt too soon, and Valve announcing it during Microsoft’s console-focused press conference was disconcerting. I’ve seen enough that I feel okay about buying another Left 4 Dead, but I may take what I learned last year and wait a month or two – it wasn’t long before a weekend sale had Left 4 Dead for $25.

December is a month of uncertainty; it’s where publishers tend to bury games in which they have little confidence. But it’s also a month of potential, as last year it gave us Persona 4. Moreover, it’s the month of digital distribution sales; Steam’s annual store-wide sale always does well to pad my backlog, and this year I’m hoping Impulse and GamersGate will give them some competition.

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