I see this as lining up for more GOTY nominations. Much easier to remember a game from September than May. The shine has not worn off yet for that.
It's not like people would have forgotten a GTA game by then. They really don't need to pull those kinds of stunts and it's not like GOTY awards from random websites pay their bills.
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People (Brad), completely forgot about Diablo 3 last year and it has a similar hype and publicity train behind it.
What makes you think he forgot it, rather than he just liked 10 other games more? A five star review doesn't guarantee it end of the year consideration, especially when he had a bunch of 5 star games in his list already. It's about the games that stuck with him as being overly special or memorable, not it's review score. D3 was a great game, but there were plenty of great games last year
I enjoyed Diablo 3 when it came out, then I quickly forgot it even existed a few months after that.
He was raving on it for months and he didn't mention it at ALL during deliberations. It was just strange to me that he was so freely throwing out a 5-star, glowing review, but nobody talked about it during the millions of hours of podcasts that happened late last year. It was just suspect, is all.
It's worth noting that Brad uses "five-star review" as "A game I recommend without reservation" rather than Jeff's "This is probably going to be one of my favorite games of the year" four-star reviews. I don't mean to say that Brad's reviews are "forgiving," they're just built on a less personal and, also, less steep scale. Again, if Jeff gives a game a four-star review (Black Ops/Black Ops II,) it's liable to show up on his top 10 list. For Brad and Ryan, a 4-star review generally means "this game is totally functional but somehow misses the mark for me," as evidenced by Max Payne 3, Assassin's Creed III, Rage, and Nintendo Land (although I totally goddamned loved Nintendo Land.) That's obviously not always true, as Brad gave Dead Island a 4-star review and loved that game, as with Asura's Wrath, and Rock Band Blitz made Ryan's Top 10 as well.
But that's a very different world from Jeff's scoring, where many of the games he scores 4-stars tend to make his Top 10 lists. This year, Persona 4 Arena, Fez, Pinball Arcade, and Black Ops II all made his list, though it was mostly Fez's technical issues that kept it from receiving a five-star review. The only other four-star reviews he gave were for Mass Effect 3, Super Stardust Delta, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and Lumines Electronic Symphony, which are two Vita games, a game he felt had a lot more potential than delivery, and, well, Mass Effect 3, which might be the game with the most complicated reception in history.
I don't mean this so much as a criticism as a point. It took me a long time to figure out Brad's review rhythm. Now, I think I've got a handle on it. Leading up to Asura's Wrath, I took a 4-star review to be a death sentence, as I really disliked Rage and Dead Island. Once you figure out their review rhythms, it'll start to make sense.
This is a long tangent to get on in this thread. I don't think GTA delayed for GOTY prevalence, or because they were running away from The Last of Us. I figure they just needed more QA time and are taking it rather than shipping an unfinished game.