Each year, all first- and third-party game publishers play a massive game of chicken by releasing all their top titles during the holiday quarter. With consumers' dollars limited, the massive pre-Christmas retail dump leaves several major titles high and dry, with new properties being particularly vulnerable to tried-and-true IPs. This was the case last holiday season, when Electronic Arts saw the launches of new IPs Mirror's Edge and Dead Space outpaced by blue-chip franchise entries, such as Microsoft's Gears of War 2 and Activision's Call of Duty: World at War.
With the stakes so high, many companies blink and shift their titles out of the holiday season. Now, with the fourth quarter's start less than three months away, one major publisher has decided one of its new IPs would be crushed during the period---by another of its games. This evening, Activision confirmed that it is delaying Singularity, the all-new time-shifting action title from Madison, Wisconsin-based studio Raven Software (Wolfenstein, Marvel Ultimate Alliance) until the first quarter of next year. The reason? The insane amount of interest in Modern Warfare 2, the hotly anticipated--and heavily hyped--sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which has sold over 13 million units.
"The level of excitement for Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 coming out of E3 well exceeded our expectations and therefore we have decided to move Raven's upcoming sci-fi first-person action title, Singularity, from 2009 to Q1 2010," an Activision spokesperson told GameSpot. "We believe that the March quarter will provide a better opportunity to establish the new cutting-edge action IP as a 'must-have' title and clears the way for Modern Warfare 2 to dominate this holiday season."
In Singularity, gamers play as Nate, an Air Force pilot who, in the early parts of the game, is scrambled to investigate some strange happenings on an island off the coast of Russia. After Nate's plane crashes, players must uncover the mystery of the island, while remaining alive in the process. When you toss in a time-travel complication that keeps flipping the setting from 2010 to the 1950s, massive complications ensue.
For a closer look at the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game, check out GameSpot's stage demo of it during last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo, viewable below.