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Hines: Someone will lose out in November

But the crush is "healthy for the industry".

Bethesda Softworks vice president Pete Hines reckons that the intense period of high-profile releases at the end of 2011 is good news for the games industry, but probably not good news for all the contenders.

Skyrim is due out on 11th November. Other potentially triple-A releases in the same period include Uncharted 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations - not to mention Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Saints Row: The Third.

"It's probably healthy for the industry because the industry gets a lot of attention when there's all these things happening, just like the movie industry gets a lot of buzz when there's a bunch of really big things at the movies and everyone's talking about them all," Hines told Eurogamer at QuakeCon shortly after we went hands-on with Skyrim.

"It's probably not healthy for everyone who has one of those titles, because as you rightly pointed out usually someone gets the short end of the stick. Someone ends up falling short and not doing quite what they expected to do."

The last time we saw this sort of congestion around a particular date in Q4 was at the end of October 2008 when another Bethesda title, Fallout 3, arrived in close proximity to the likes of Dead Space and Fable II.

"This is also fairly unique - it's not like it happens every year, it's a bit cyclical," Hines noted. "And it's not even specific to when we're out in early November - starting in September all the way through to November, stepping out of my job and looking at the period of time as a gamer, it's amazing.

"How long do I have in order to play and finish this game before that one comes out?"

But while one or two titles will perhaps struggle to do the numbers, it's fair to say that Hines does not imagine that Bethesda's games will be the ones to suffer.

History is probably with him on this one. Fallout 3, for example, managed to shift more than 600,000 units in its first month on sale despite strong competition.

"We're feeling very good about both Rage and Skyrim and very good about our line-up for this holiday season," Hines added.

If an hour with Skyrim is anything to go by, we can see his point.