Days Gone and the Importance of Timing

Days Gone has never been a more appropriate title.

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Lately, gaming outlets and YouTubers have been releasing their impressions at the latest PlayStation event, where journalists were invited to come behind closed doors to Bend Studio and play their latest game, Days Gone, coming out later this year.

For those of you gaming boys and girls who don’t know, Days Gone is a new Zombie hoard survival open-world game made by Playstation’s Bend Studio (the creators behind the extremely underrated Syphon Filter series) that was first announced at E3 in 2016 with a full gameplay trailer. It features the craziest number of zombies seen to date and an exciting focus on motorcycle traversal. But to many, it seems to look (and act) like just another open-world/zombie game.

While not all of this buzz negative and has actually been even mostly semi-positive, the buzz of attention and hype surrounding Days Gone has waned and expressed uninterest of masses. Some of that negative buzz was attached to the fact that this is Bend Studios first foray into full console gaming, usually being the top first-party studio to develop for PSP and PSVita; being trusted with IP’s such as Uncharted, so their game couldn’t be as impressive. The last mobile first party studio to make this move was Ready at Dawn, the makers of the mobile God of War games, with their debut PS4 title the Order 1886… and we saw how that turned out. While it’s certainly an interesting dynamic to think about, Bend is clearly a capable and even talented studio, which is reflected in much of its early impressions having good things to say about the gameplay and systems.

Instead, this negatively clearly stems from common lines muttered by people saying, “Oh, another zombie game”, “Oh, another survival game”, or even “Oh, another open-world game”. While these statements assume negativity, it’s good to remember that these don’t exactly claim mediocrity (let’s not forget that Breath of the Wild is a recent open world game and that the Last of Us is just another Zombie game) but rather truly act as a claim of fatigue.

Days Gone has been in development since 2012. To put that in perspective, that year Diablo 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, Borderlands 2, and Far Cry 3 came out – and is a year before PlayStation’s The Last of Us would grace the system. Now Imagine being able to watch Days Gone’s debut trailer that same year. Even though many were great games, this would have put it out before the parade of open-world adventure games we’ve seen in the past few years. Even in its inception period, this would have appeared to be something new, and only the coincidence of the open-world phenomenon could change that. Coming out around this time would not only put Days Gone in better standing with audiences but would make it feel fresh. It would have turned the first impressions of, “Oh, another open-world game” or “Oh, another zombie game” into “Woah, look at those hoards”.

Days Gone still has captured many eyes and anticipating fans, myself included, regardless of imagining the possibilities of what could have been in a less saturated market. This delay and market doesn’t mean that Days Gone has less of a chance of being a fantastic experience, but rather just a change to its appeal.

I will still be there on day one hamming it up zombies on day one, will you?

What are some other games do you think were pushed out of the limelight for being put out too late?

How are you feeling about Days Gone?

Do you think this timing has enough to sink its sales or will it transcend its well-trodden path?

Let me know what you think in the comments below.