Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has suggested Capcom's decision to bring forward Resident Evil 6's release date from November 20 to October 2 is purely down to "competitive reasons".
We asked him today why he thinks the publisher has altered its launch plans, to which he replied: "I'm sure it was for competitive reasons. Although not the same genre, BioShock: Infinite is close to a horror-style game, and it's coming out mid-October."
The move also means Resident Evil 6 will hit shelves weeks in advance of Assassin's Creed 3 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and even further ahead of November's big hitters, which are sure to include the latest Call of Duty game.
So is Capcom feeling nervous about the current perception of the Resident Evil brand, particularly in light of the critical kicking dished out to last month's Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City? Pachter doesn't think so:
"I don't think Metascores for Raccoon City have much to do with it," he said, "but I think the timing of holiday titles impacts their overall sales, and it's smart to be in front of competitive games."
Christian Svensson, senior vice president of strategic business development at Capcom, said last month that pre-orders for Resident Evil 6 "are off to... the best start a Resident Evil game has ever had".
Going on to explain the publisher's decision to announce a November release date as early as January, he said: "We're saying, 'Get the hell out of the way.' We're a big game. We're letting you know we're coming. We're giving people plenty of room to move around us. The other part is the nuts and bolts of it. If we put our stake in the ground, we can start lining up retail channel promotions, etc."