Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3 has been moved from its original release date of April 8th 2011 to “Fall 2011″, Microsoft has revealed. That’s a pretty significant change for a title many regard as Xbox’s biggest for next year.
In an unusual move, Microsoft has admitted that the Epic Games-developed shoot-me-do has been shifted to “to make it the marquee title for the holiday season”. Or, to put it another way: “Halo 4 ain’t going to be ready in time for Holiday 2011, so we need something big to fill the void.”
Microsoft’s press release on the matter reads thus:
“Gears of War 3 promises to be the biggest entertainment launch of 2011. The teams at Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games have done great work thus far readying the title for release in the spring of 2011. However, we’ve elected to move the launch of Gears of War 3 until Fall 2011 to make it the marquee title for the holiday season.”
A pure business decision then, and one that will probably piss off fans for that very reason. Seems Epic anticipated this, and later sent the following statement to Eurogamer:
“I know fans are going to be disappointed with the new release date, but rest assured that this is a business decision between partners, and not a quality issue. Gears 3 was on track to be the most polished Gears of War game ever when it released in April, and this additional time allows us to polish it that much more before it hits shelves next fall. Next week we have a major multiplayer press visit at Epic HQ, and I’m really looking forward to the fans getting to see and hear about Gears 3 Versus multiplayer for the first time.”
[Via press release]