For me, and I am sure many others amongst you, the date April 14th 2015 will have resonated for some time now as “the day the new Mortal Kombat comes out”, and of course tonnes of gamers everywhere will have been feeling that hype for months! Then, yesterday happened. Again, for many of us, the thought “I’m not going to assume that is set in stone though” will have come into our heads every time we have talked about the March release of Grand Theft Auto V for the PC. Yesterday of course we learned just how wise we were to think this, as the game has been pushed back again… but to April 14th. And so now we are faced with either a gift from the gaming gods or a major dilemma, depending on how deep your pockets are and how much free time you have in your average day. For many, there is now going to have to be a choice; which one do I buy? Or even if you buy both, you will still have to deal with the question of which one do you play..?
So apparently Rockstar either don’t look at other major titles’ release dates before they set the thirty dates they need to release a single game, or they don’t care… Or perhaps they have done it on purpose, and fully recognise the competition at hand? That one seems a little unlikely, but it does not change the juggling act that we, the gamers, are now left to deal with on this date. Naturally, it is not bad news that two absolutely mindblowingly good looking games are coming our way – I am not for a single tenth of a second complaining about that! I am as excited as any of you about Grand Theft Auto V and Mortal Kombat X, I just didn’t think that I might have to choose! Or, more to the point for me, I didn’t think that I would have to share the gaming PC between me and my girlfriend so that we could play our new games, as presumably there was going to be a good few weeks between them! Problems, problems, problems…
Part of me sees this as the most exciting day for games in some time and probably for some time to come. The only other game I am REALLY excited by which is on the way is the new Star Wars Battlefront, and that is because Battlefront II was my favourite game ever. But another part of me can’t get over this blatant disregard for the end users of these games. Surely Rockstar could have set their release seven days earlier or seven days later than Mortal Kombat if they really had to delay their game yet again. It feels like the average gamer has been ignored here, because in all honesty there must be plenty of crossover between the players of these two games when it comes down to it. Competitive as the gaming market may be however, there is no direct competition between these two titles. They are intrinsically different, so there is no reason for them to have to try and one up each other. Perhaps if GTA had been rescheduled in line with a new Saints Row game it would make sense, as they might be trying to capture the market. But in this case, it seems like Rockstar have missed out on the ideals of good sportsmanship and the very concept of gamers only having so much money to spend at any one time. And it is a shame, as I usually have great respect for their company’s behaviours and consideration towards their games’ players too.
Ok, so maybe in some way I just needed to get my feelings on the situation out in this article. It’s not the first time this has happened after all, and it’s probably not going to be the last. A few years back I remember Fable III came out on the same day as Star Wars The Force Unleashed II. Say what you want about the games, the point is I wanted both at the time and had a similar dilemma. As it happened, I got Star Wars first, finished the story that day, then swapped it over, but for Mortal Kombat and GTA that’s not really an option. Partly that’s because they both have loads of replayability to them, but also you can’t swap things like that on Steam, so the problem still remains. Anyway, the big difference between then and now is that then it was planned released dates which were just a coincidence, whereas here Rockstar came in much later and could have avoided the clash. It just doesn’t really seem like fair play to me, and I am sure other gamers probably feel the same right now. So even if to some extent I just needed to get some feelings heard here, I hope I have spoken for those people too!
To round this all up, my message is this – Rockstar, please pay attention and play nice. I love your games, and I love GTA V, and I am really, really looking forward to your PC release of it, but I don’t want to have to choose between games in situations like this, so please look around next time. I would hate to think that you would lose any sales because of this, but more than that I feel very sorry for any gamers who are even made to have to make that choice now because of these release dates. To any that have been effected, leave a comment with your thoughts too – it would be good to know I’m not just a crazy guy who is getting old before his time and needs a moan here! But anyway, now that that is said and done, role on April 14th eh guys!