A Bioshock 2 The System
While returning home from procuring some medicine that would ensure a blissful state of apathy for the duration of a virus I'm fighting off, I passed the window of the local Game store and saw that Bioshock 2 is due to be released on the 9th of February. A few mental calculations later, I confirmed my initial suspicions that this was indeed a Tuesday and in the UK releases on this day can only mean one thing, a worldwide simultaneous release. Well, worldwide as in North America and Europe, which is what the industry seem to associate the term with these days anyway.
Given the status of the other titles given this prestigious honour, (Halo 3, GTA IV and Modern Warfare 2 are the only that spring to mind) I was more than a little surprised to find Bioshock 2 punching so far above its weight. Now don't get me wrong, I really loved Bioshock and it has a special place in my heart, chiefly because after playing through the demo with slack jawed awe on a friend's console, I finally decided to buy an Xbox 360. There's no denying it was a highly polished and thoroughly enjoyable experience as well, but I can't help but feel that the extent of its success was largely due to the lack of any strong competition when it was released.
I realise this now sounds like a bit of a rant about Bioshock, which really wasn't the intention when I decided to write about this and so I'll cut to the point.
What or who decides whether a game will get a world-wide simultaneous release?
I mean clearly it must come down to the publishers and whatever agreements they have with the retail sector in the various countries, but as a humble consumer, I'm not privy to such boardroom decision. What I am privy too however is the annoyance of seeing friends in the US playing new games a good three days before I can. If the industry can do it for Bioshock 2, why not Mass Effect 2? Why not Assassin's Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2 or any game that is heavily anticipated due to a successful predecessor?
There's something fishier that Rapture about a worldwide release date for Bioshock 2. If the powers that be are listening out there, would you kindly ensure more releases are also treated the same?