Today sees the release of three big games from three big publishers, all no-doubt looking to take advantage of the quiet month to score a top ten hit in the sales chart next week.
Capcom is one of the few videogame publishers to command a loyal fanbase, where consumers are happy to trust the publishing brand as much as the franchise itself. Devil May Cry made a significant impact on the last generation of consoles, and now comfortably sits beside Resident Evil and Street Fighter as part of Capcom's portfolio of heavy-hitters. Devil May Cry 4, out today, is sure to be a fast-seller with the hardcore fans, and even though its priced higher on the PlayStation 3 than the Xbox 360 version, and there are issues with loading the game onto Sony's system, it's the kind of game ideally suited to those with a luxury high definition set-up.
Perhaps holding more curiosity value than fan loyalty, the latest in the Turok franchise is also released today. The series has suffered from poor quality in the past, but again the hardcore gamer is likely to be tempted with fond memories of the old N64 games. It's unlikely to chart higher than DMC4, but don't be surprised if marketing from latest publisher Touchstone can help propel it into the top ten for a couple of weeks.
The other big release of the week is The Club from Sega. The Sonic publisher has enjoyed success with new IP on the latest home consoles — most notably with Condemned: Criminal Origins — and this mature-themed take on old fashioned high score ideals should be a modest hit at least. Certainly, developer Bizarre Creations has more than proved itself with the Project Gotham Racing franchise, and with the game getting solid reviews across the specialist press, The Club should break into the top ten next Tuesday.
With the industry gearing up for the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on February 18, next week will see companies split between announcing new products ahead of the glut of GDC news, or staying under the radar and waiting for a less hectic month. Expect the rumour mill to go a little crazy next week, as industry watchers predict, guess, lie and leak the big announcements from San Francisco.
As well as our weekly look back over movements in the stock market and the health of shares for videogame publishers, next week GamesIndustry.biz will feature further analysis courtesy of Screen Digest's David McQueen and a report on advergaming and its future in the industry.
Following this week's DICE event in Las Vegas, US editor Mark Androvich will offer a review of the show, as it cements itself as one of the important dates on the industry calendar, with insight from some of the executives speaking at the glitzy show.
Next week GamesIndustry.biz will also have a preview of the Game Developers Conference, looking at some of the most interesting sessions and keynotes, and predicting some of the major announcements likely to be vying for attention in San Francisco.