DICE 2016: Todd Howard Talks Announcements

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DICE 2016: Todd Howard Talks Announcements

It was one of the biggest shocks of E3, when Todd Howard took the stage and told everyone that, not only was Fallout 4 coming out, but it was also coming out that November. Many--myself included--were figuring that late 2015 was a possibility for release, if a bit of a long shot. 2016 was much more likely. Howard took that ball and ran with it to essentially win E3 not for a console, but for one single studio. This has raised a question for many: should this be the new standard?

Howard, speaking to IGN at DICE 2016, noted that he would "...like that to become the norm." The Fallout 4 launch was certainly successful, and it proves that a game really doesn't need years of hype in order to catch on with an audience. Since Howard himself is also a gamer, he knows first-hand what it's like to get excited about a game, and then be forced to wait potentially years to make the purchase.

Fallout 4, meanwhile, dropped that time down to months. Five long, excruciating months, but months nonetheless. Indeed, Howard noted that it's possible to announce a game too soon, and thus sour fans on the potential experience by not allowing any excitement to build.

It's true, to a point. However, even Howard notes that every game is different, and some games will need more time than others. So finding that "window" can be a tough practice.

Of course, we all have to note here that this was a good idea for Fallout 4. For a new game, or a game with less of a fan base, a short launch window may not do the job. That's already been noted, but it's particularly important to call attention to Fallout 4 itself. It would be nice to get a little less time between announcement and launch--I've seen Sword Coast Legends get delayed at least twice and I have no idea where Vermintide is--but it isn't likely to happen, at least not for every game.

Still, Howard's got a point. It would be nice to trim down that time between launch and announcement at least somewhat, and might be just the thing to really perk up the market even further.

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