Shellshock: Nam '67 has been moved to a September release, Eidos announced to the City this morning, because it wants to "provide this important new franchise with a better opportunity to deliver its true potential".
The Guerrilla-developed shooter was due for release on PS2, Xbox and PC on June 25th. Indeed, the game is finished and magazine review code has been dispatched to magazines already.
But following disappointing sales of Hitman: Contracts due to "soft" market conditions, Eidos has elected to duck out of releasing Shellshock at a time it clearly perceives to be commercial suicide.
It's a tricky argument, though. The perception that games sell less during summer is a chicken and egg situation - if publishers were to release bigger, better games in the summer in the same way that the movie industry reserves certain flicks for the summer blockbuster season, they may well reap the benefits of the barren release schedules.
In fact, Eye-Toy launched with much success last summer, while down the years titles such as Driver and Medal Of Honor: Frontline cleaned up thanks to most publishers leaving the market clear. Eidos may inadvertently be harming the game's chances by waiting until there are multiple releases to compete with - in Shellshock's case it will soon be joined by the likes of Conflict: Vietnam and Men Of Valour - not mention all the other competing shooters entering the fray at roughly the same time.
Can someone pay me stupid money to be a City analyst please?