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Way Too Many Video Games Came Out This Holiday Season

There are too many new video games right now. Far too many. Q4 of 2016 has been so oversaturated with big new releases that some games—like Titanfall 2—that should have been huge hits were barely even noticed by consumers.

As a professional game critic who loves to play lots of different genres, I can barely stay above water. I’m behind on almost all the games I hoped to play. If I was a regular consumer who also had to pay for all of these? I’d be skipping games left and right. There’s simply far too much to choose from right now, and while I’m a huge advocate for choice, there comes a point when you flood the market and good games get the shaft.

I’m not really sure what all these publishers are thinking, quite frankly. EA is by far the worst offender, squeezing Titanfall 2 between the launches of Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. But the problem is deeper than that. All these game publishers are trying to get their games out in time for the holiday rush. That makes sense, but it can be taken too far.

After all, very few games tend to be released in early January. That gives game makers a huge opening, both in terms of what’s new at retailers and what’s getting talked about in the gaming press and on YouTube. Also, the weeks after Christmas are a great time to sell things. A lot of people are flush with Christmas cash and gift cards, especially young people who are out of school for the holidays and looking for things to do. People who buy video games.

For my part, I just can’t keep up. I’ll have late reviews for a number of games because I’ve taken on too much and achieved too little. That’s my fault, I get that. I blame nobody. But I suspect a lot of games would do better with some more breathing room, holidays be damned.

And no, I don’t mean “holidays be damned” like that. I’m not trying to start a war on Christmas. I’m just saying, spread the love.

Now I have to make hard choices like…I have Tyranny and Civ VI just waiting to be played, and I’m not done with Watch Dogs 2 yet, and I have a bunch of other games I can’t even remember off the top of my head that I’m behind on, but I also want to play Final Fantasy XV and it’s out now, and I can’t decide what to do! Oh, and not to mention all the PS VR stuff I have to get through.

The struggle, dear readers, is real. So very, very real.

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