The timing is interesting as it is happening when there is concern over the future of the “PC”. Microsoft is in a bad spot with windows 8.x and the Xbox One was not the money spinner that they felt it would be. This could be motivating development and publishing companies to drop titles that do not look like they can gain a positive return on the investment. If they drop the title they can write it off as a loss or roll some of the concepts and work into another title.
It would be interesting if this were the case as it would be a tacit admission that PC sales are slowing. This is not a bad thing though as it might force companies to scale back on the refreshes and limited updates to hardware and instead get back to work in developing something really new. The consumer market is filled with systems that are more than the average person needs in terms of compute power, but are limited to bad form factors and resolution that give a terrible user experience. This is a major motivator for people choosing not to upgrade their systems, but waiting for something that really brings something new to the table.
Oddly enough the trend of waiting for the next “big” thing started when Microsoft dropped Windows Vista on the world. The number of people that did not get new hardware or only picked up small hardware updates was staggering. There are still people that are sticking things out with Windows XP simply because they can get support for it on new hardware and, for the most part, there are few applications that will not run on it. Yes the tide is turning for XP now that it is not supported by Microsoft, but Windows Vista, 7 and now 8.x have had a cascading effect on all areas of the PC market and now we are possibly seeing it hit the gaming market as well.
It will be very interesting to see how many other projects are canceled or reorganized over the next couple of months. We are getting into the time frame when new AAA titles should be nearing completion so development shops will need to make announcements one way or the other.
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