September’s a good month. I suppose if you have to go back to school, you might argue that, and you’d have a strong case. But allow me to present my case.
If you watch the television in some capacity, there are a number of fantastic shows returning this month. Dexter, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Stargate Universe and Sons of Anarchy are a few of many that spring to mind. And of course new shows like Boardwalk Empire promise to reach incredible amounts of awesome.
And of course, September marks the annual kickoff of the video game industry’s “Hey we’re going to release so many amazing games that you won’t have time to play them all and you’ll want to scream” extravaganza. Halo: Reach, Dead Rising 2, Spider-man, FFXIV, Civ V, and a few more this month alone. I hope you all have your controller batteries charged.
The FFXIV beta has (supposedly) started. If you’ve tried to get a key, or gotten a key and been unable to download the client, or gotten a key and downloaded the client and can’t create a character, you know why the “supposedly” is there. It’s definitely a rough start for the game in an MMO market where nowadays if you don’t launch super smooth and polished, gamers start calling you dead in the water.
I had a conversation about this the other day, and I seriously believe that if WoW had to launch against itself today, it would sink. Or at least seriously suffer. World of Warcraft at launch was not only plagued by server downtime issues, but didn’t have nearly the number of features and content that it does today. Features that many people now expect as auto-include on new MMOs.
I give MMOs a six month grace period. I’ll try them at launch, if I don’t like them I stop. But I don’t write them off completely until I’ve tried them six-months post launch. Six months is a fair amount of time for the game to settle into it’s niche, and begin receiving patches that fix or add things that may have been broken or missing at launch.
I will still give FFXIV it’s fair shot, despite the issues it’s currently having. And FFXIV isn’t even a game I’m super incredibly excited about. But with no Cataclysm release date, and The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and 40K: Dark Millenium still a year (or more) away, I’m open to all sorts of flirting with other MMOs in the meantime.