Apparently, no one wants to launch a new video game the week before Battlefield 3 hits. Batman: Arkham City was supposed to launch on October 18, but the PC version has been delayed to some time in November. Throwback shooter Serious Sam 3 was also supposed to hit the street on the 18th, but Rock, Paper, Shotgun is reporting that it, too, has been pushed to the following month.
Joystiq has a copy of the official press release, which pins the new launch date on November 22, two weeks after the new Battlefield and Elder Scrolls games are due to debut. Of course, the competition isn’t mentioned as a cause for the delay. Developer Croteam says it wants to spend a little more time balancing the game’s difficulty and fine-tuning the code.
Serious Sam 3 is due to come out on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The press release only talks about a delay to the PC version, though; consoles aren’t mentioned at all. PC versions of cross-platform games certainly seem to be getting the shaft lately. Just yesterday, we learned that PC gamers will have to wait until December 2 to play Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, which console folks will get their mitts on two weeks earlier.
With the range of hardware and software configurations available on the PC, I imagine that it takes longer for PC games to be polished than it does for console releases that only have to run on locked-down platforms. We’ve also seen developers delay PC versions of their games to add additional features, such as higher-quality textures and models. Here’s a conspiracy theory for the tinfoil-hat crowd: it’s all about money. The console versions of the new Batman and Assassin’s Creed games carry $60 price tags, while the PC releases cost only $50. That’s a sizable price gap for what should be equivalent products, and it’s possible that console versions could be more profitable, on a per-unit basis, than their PC counterparts.