Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Staggered Release Dates

Picture the scene. You’re sat at the head of a royal banquet. Exquisite delicacies from around the world are served on silver platters. The mouth-watering aroma of honey-glazed pork elicits an eager growl of anticipation from your empty stomach. The guests seated around you begin to eat, gorging themselves on the bountiful feast. At last, it’s time to tuck in.

But as you try to reach for the shredded duck, a terrible realisation dawns: you can’t move. You are completely paralysed; every limb immobile. You have no choice but to sit and stare as those around you cram their crumb-flecked mouths with food and drink.

This imaginary scenario is my overblown analogy for the excruciating unfairness of staggered release dates. Take Batman Arkham City for example, which releases TODAY in North America. European gamers are forced to endure the squeals of delight as their American cousins explore the grimy streets of Arkham City. As a long-suffering citizen of Europe I have to wait another three days before I get to join the party. Three fucking days. It took less time to create the universe.

Now I don't know about you, but sloppy seconds just 'aint my style. I can forgive obscure Japanese RPGs that require translation and localisation before they're released into the wild, but a game like Arkham City? No, no, fucking no. There’s no reason why this title couldn't have been assigned a single global release date. Instead, European gamers have to bend over and take it up the poop chute. With no lube.

Forced to endure three days of ceaseless, excited tweets about how Arkham City is the best game of the year, the best game of ALL TIME. Three days of pointless, cruel waiting. I could be hit by a bus in three days, snatched from this mortal coil before I’d even had the chance to ogle Cat Woman’s leather-clad arse. If I'd been at home playing Arkham City - like the rest of the fucking world - I'd have been out of harm’s way.

Don't you see? Abolishing staggered release dates will SAVE LIVES.

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