Here we’re, the tail finish of July. It’s sizzling, it’s humid, and there may be completely nothing to distract myself with. There are not any video video games in July. That’s the way it goes and the way it’s been since I used to be a child. And even in 2019, when in the middle of a single yr we’ll see almost 10,000 video games materialize on Steam, and when each different sluggish month has changed into a nonstop torrent of releases, nonetheless there’s this black gap within the midst of summer season.

But why?

That’s what I’ve spent the previous few weeks looking for out. “Why does everyone avoid July like the plague?”

Pool get together

And I do imply everybody. I believe all of us anecdotally know July is mild on releases, that issues decelerate in the summertime months, however I didn’t actually see the tumbleweeds blowing till NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella threw out some figures for me:

“Of the $7.3 billion in U.S. whole tracked full sport software program gross sales in 2018 throughout the total Physical market, and together with Digital full sport gross sales for members of the Digital Leader Panel throughout the PlayStation Store, Steam, eShop and Xbox digital storefronts, solely $253 million was generated in July.

July 2018 represented solely 3% of whole 2018 tracked annual full sport greenback gross sales.”

Three %. Keep in thoughts, that determine consists of the tail finish of the 2018 Steam Summer Sale, which ran by July 5. “You can see why publishers may look towards other months,” says Piscatella.

Of course, there’s a little bit of a cause-and-effect downside right here. Publishers don’t launch video games in July, which drives down the gross sales numbers for July, which then reinforces the concept July’s a foul month to launch video games in. Looking again at 2018’s launch calendar, July’s noteworthy releases had been Octopath Traveler, a Red Faction Guerrilla remaster, The Banner Saga 3, and Hand of Fate 2. Oh, and the free NEXT replace for No Man’s Sky.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

We’re doing barely higher this yr, with a top-tier Final Fantasy XIV expansionSea of SolitudeMarvel Ultimate Alliance 3Dragon Quest Builders 2Blazing ChromeNight Call, the PC launch of Tetris Effect, and naturally Wolfenstein: Youngblood on the finish of the month. It’s nonetheless a far cry out of your common September although, and even your common April at this level.

How did it get this manner, although? How did July develop into a wasteland so poisonous that it hasn’t stuffed out whilst the remainder of the historically “slow” months—February, April, August—turned crowded?

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