This year is no different with a small army of high profile games coming out in November. We have Rise of the Tomb Raider, Fallout 4, Need for Speed, Black Ops III, Star Wars: Battlefront, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash on that front. Meanwhile, handhelds will be slugging it out with the likes of Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, Sword Art Online: Lost Song, Stella Glow, and Yo-kai Watch all coming out that month. Then, even with all of these big name titles and in-demand niche releases, there are the also-cames that will be slotted into the category of, "Maybe I'll get that at a sale some day..."
I don't expect everyone to be lining up for each and every game coming out, but there is a certain degree of overlap, not to mention that many of these games demand a fair amount of one's time. As such, it stands to reason that choices will be made and some games will fair far better than others.
It seems a pretty safe bet that Fallout 4 will sell like gangbusters. The series is immensely popular, open world games draw a big audience, and the hype has been through the roof for it since the thing was announced. The game also has the luxury of being released in a window where it doesn't have to compete against any other popular console or PC RPGs. There are a few MMORPGs getting major content updates in November, but I don't see them eating into Fallout 4 in any way. It has a wide-open field to come out and reap massive sales. About the only thing that may get in its way is when it comes to people with limited budgets and find themselves choosing between it and Star Wars: Battlefront.
And this is the other game that I see dominating November. Star Wars: Battlefront is something that people have been keeping an eye on for a long time, and it will obviously benefit from the massive hype as we head into the run-up before Star Wars: Force Awakens. People have been enjoying the demo, watching all of the trailers, and eager for the complete game to finally come out. This will be the online shooter that most folks want this year, and it will make life very difficult for Black Ops III.
There are other games that already have a dedicated audience and don't really need to worry about competition, though. The next StarCraft II expansion will be one of them. RTS is so much more of a niche genre now with StarCraft holding the fort as everyone else is scrambling to hop on board the MOBA gravy train. I'd be shocked if Legacy of the Void didn't do quite well for itself. I don't see it doing the insane numbers that Fallout 4 likely will, but the long time fans will be on it day one. The same thing seems likely for the new Mario Tennis. Nintendo fans love themselves some Mario, and it's been a while since we've had a tennis game from the franchise. Even if the Wii U was a bit of a misstep for Nintendo, I could see fans picking this up over the Christmas season.
I'm not quite sure how much draw Need for Speed has, though. Racing games are no where near as prevalent as they were in the past, especially not arcade racers. We see a niche community gobbling them up on places like Steam's Early Access, and there are a decent amount of folks who enjoy racing sims, but on the whole the genre has seen better days. Being a long time fan of racing games, I hope it does well, but it's really hard to say for certain.
The one major release I am doubtful will do well in November is Rise of the Tomb Raider. There just doesn't seem to be all that much excitement for the game right now. It doesn't help that the announcement of a time limited console exclusivity for the game wound up being a bit of a buzzkill either. My guess is that the game's best hope is to be a slow burn like the last Tomb Raider. It's success will likely come from steady, sustained purchases over a longer period of time, boosted by sales on Steam, XBL, and PSN when it hits the PS4. I'm expecting initial sales to be subpar, though.
In any case, it should be interesting to see where the chips fall this year. Fallout 4 and Star Wars look likely to be the big winners, but I'm more curious where the surprise successes will come from. Whatever people go with, it's going to be a busy month for a lot of folks that'll likely carry into the new year if they go hog wild with new releases. While I am tempted to get in on the action, day one purchases are a tough sell for me these days. If I'm going to contribute to any of the Q4 statistics this year, that won't happen until the Steam sale hits.