Evidence suggests this can be a winning strategy. One of 2021′s biggest surprise hits, Viking survival game Valheim, came out at the beginning of February. The 2020 party game smash, Fall Guys, landed in the relatively quiet summer months, only to be supplanted by Among Us, a different party game that originally came out in June 2018.
Pachter doesn’t believe those games influenced bigger publishers to alter their release schedules this year, however.
“I don’t think anybody learned from the smaller hits,” he said. “I think everybody understands that games can sell any month of the year. You’re just gonna miss the Christmas boost if you don’t get it out at Christmas.”
In terms of bigger bets, 2020 also saw “League of Legends” creator Riot Games release its tactical shooter, Valorant, in June to enduring success.