'Persona 4' Must Release On December 9 Or Receive The 'Kiss Of Death' From Retail

Atlus has a hardcore following that snaps up all of their games. They are not a Square Enix, but Atlus knows that and caters to their fans.

While checking out a demo for "Persona 4" last week, I noticed it was shipping on December 9, a date before Christmas but after the Thanksgiving sales rush.

I wondered whether a release date matters for a game like "Persona." Why not just wait until January or February, when people might have gift cards, etc.?

"The one problem is from a retail standpoint, retailers are very averse, across the board, to bringing anything in after Thanksgiving," said Atlus' manage of public relations and sales Aram Jabbari, as our demo came to a close. "If they can avoid any product in December, they will."

Until February, Jabbari explained, retailers want to move their excess stock. They don't want new products. Atlus recently received word "Persona 4" is approved for release and will hit its release date. If that hadn't happened…

"What that means is, if a game [like 'Persona'] is to slip and it was set for the first week of December, it's essentially the kiss of death," said Jabbari. "Every retailer would cancel orders. That's why you don't see many games coming out December through February."

An early year release didn't hurt "Resident Evil 4." Maybe companies like Atlus could avoid this problem with digital distribution. What do you think, readers?

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