Backbreaker Release Date Questions Return

Posted April 13th, 2010 at 9:40 am

Despite Backbreaker having a history of release date shifting it finally appeared to have settled into May 25th. With that approaching there are now signs that it may not be hitting that date. Amazon, Gamefly, and Walmart have shifted the release to June 1st. Gamestop, usually the first indicator of a release date change, still has it slated for 5/25. Generally though retailers do not make changes without having reason to do so, and as such confirmation could be coming in the near future one way or the other.

Should Backbreaker move to 6/1 it actually would be positioned much better in the marketplace. It would no longer be faced with releasing on the same day as UFC 2010 Undisputed. That massively popular game would overshadow Backbreaker’s release and would be the first choice for most sports gaming fans. It would put Backbreaker in a position where it would have to be the second title picked up by many, and shelling out $110 plus tax at once is a lot to ask when a franchise is unproven and so much uncertainty surrounds it.

If, in fact, Backbreaker is being pushed back a week it would not be to spend time making the game better. Naturally some will jump to that conclusion based on the Game Informer preview. A week would not be enough time to make any changes. Backbreaker is pretty much complete at this point, with final QA testing, Microsoft and Sony certification, and manufacturing taking up the last six weeks or so before release.

The change would likely be made due to a decision to avoid UFC 2010 and/or overcoming distribution issues that may have been faced. What may present a conflict is that another title from 505 Games, Naughty Bear, is slated out on 6/8. Whether they have the distribution channels and marketing to support two games arriving so close together is in question.

The confusing thing about all of this is that no date for Backbreaker can really be counted on. The 505 Games website and Backbreaker website list May 18th, Gamestop lists May 25th, while Walmart, Amazon and Gamefly are showing June 1st. In semi-related news the price is being lowered at some locations. Both Amazon and Walmart now list it for $44.96. No indication yet whether this is a MSRP change or if those retailers are just choosing to do it on their own.