Battlefield 3 launched in October, ending one of the year’s biggest promotional campaigns and pre-empting the arrival of Modern Warfare 3. And Uncharted 3 released in the US. October was all about threes.
New in October 2011
Spider-Man: Edge of Time
PAYDAY: The Heist
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Forza Motorsport 4
Batman: Arkham City
Football Manager 2012
As we moved into October 2011, the Battlefield 3 beta dominated the news, but we were already looking into the first quarter of 2012 and at games like Mass Effect 3 (multiplayer was finally confirmed) and Dead Space 3.
The first major games of the season were out of the gate, and the UK saw a record week of £27.7 million in sales thanks to Gears of War 3 and F1. The ramp up at this point was towards BF3 Uncharted 3, Arkham City, Forza 4, RAGE and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. MW3 was still relatively quiet, but we saw new gameplay during an England Euro 2012 match at the end of October’s first week.
Early October’s biggest release was Dark Souls: it hit on October 4 in the US and October 7 in Europe. We were still experiencing FIFA fever, in addition: FIFA 12, released in the last days of September, was the UK’s third biggest launch of all time. It sold 3.2 million worldwide units in a week and was apparently outselling PES 2012 by more than 25 times before the end of the month.
Microsoft bought Gunslinger dev Twisted Pixel on October 13.
Batman: Arkham City released in mid-October to very high review scores, ending with MC averages of 96% on PS3, 94% on 360, and 91% on PC. The PC version was actually pushed off to November 18. It shipped 4 million units in its first week.
Vita news was steady through October. Square announced Army Corps of Hell, there was news on remote play, Jack Tretton talking about data-capping and plenty more. We were seeing roughly a story a day.
One of the biggest stories of the month was the announcement of iPhone 4S, which released on October 14. The Apple massive was expecting iPhone 5, but them’s the breaks: they all moaned about it then bought it anyway: pre-orders topped 1 million units in 24 hours. The news, of course, was tempered by that of Steve Jobs’ death.
At the end of the first week of October, serious reports started to emerge questioning the state of Team Bondi.
October carried some big curve balls. PS Move was confirmed as having shipped 8.3 million units. Syndicate came out of nowhere with its new direction and caused much excitement. Angry Birds hit 30 million DAU. The Secret World beta attracted over 500,000 sign-ups. Sledgehammer admitted it’s probably going to sack its third-person CoD effort. The next gen rumours refused to die.
Rockstar loosed not so much of a tricky pitch as a baseball bat to the face: it announced GTA V and promised a first trailer for November 2. Nothing was known of the game at this point, but it had been long-rumoured to be set in LA.
Battlefield 3 ruled October’s news, though, as it had much of 2011. EA was making a lot of noise about its biggest game of the year. The whole Origin versus Steam thing was very much ongoing, and the beta closed out with some huge numbers, boasting more than six times the simultaneous players as the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 equivalent. The beta itself refused to drop out of the news all through October, with EA pushing hard on maintaining PR, marketing and dev visibility, dishing out quotes on the test at every opportunity. The opening of the Caspian Border map towards the end of the beta merely served to push the hype.
As the CoD Elite beta was winding down, BF3 launched. The release trailer (quickly mirrored with the MW3 equivalent) was amazing, but staggered reviews and launch beset with server issues wrapped off 2011′s Battlefield 3 story in a scrappy fashion.
October ended with the launch of Uncharted 3 in the US. There could be worse ways to finish a month.