At the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo otherwise known as E3 the fate of the Playstation Vita was still in an unsure state. Fans of Sony's newest handheld were hoping that the Sony press conference would show off tons of great new Vita games and show that they had something to look forward to in the handhelds future. The biggest game announced was Assassin's Creed III: Liberation.
Liberation was going to look just like the console version, but instead have a brand new storyline and character to follow. This was a great move for Sony and Ubisoft to get a franchise as popular as Assassin's Creed on the Vita. Still there was a pretty big problem most people noticed with the game's release date. Both Assassin's Creed III and Liberation were coming out on the same day.
This lead to many obvious problems that Ubisoft could have avoided by bring out Liberation earlier. The biggest is going to be getting peoples attention to play both games right away. While both games came out together most people will devote more time into playing Assassin's Creed III. The series is not known for having short 8-10 hour long campaign either and that will not be any different with the latest installments.
By the time most people finish the console version the holiday season will be in full swing. So unless you have a lot of time to commit playing your Vita at home or on the go, there will be other big titles releasing and taking attention away from Liberation. If Ubisoft decided on releasing it around early October instead of at the end of the month, the game would have time to sell and gain anticipation for Assassin's Creed III. With literally no other big Vita titles coming out as competition, Ubisoft really dropped the ball on when to release Liberation.
This is not the only problem the game has had since its announcement. At the 2012 Gamescom Sony showed off a new marketing plan for the PS3 and PS Vita called Cross Buy. This would offer users who bought the PS3 version of a game that was also on the Vita a code to download it for free. Now while I am aware Liberation is its own game in every way that doesn't mean Ubisoft couldn't have included a discount code so users who bought the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed III could download Liberation at a cheaper price. This is how Sony Japan is using Cross Buy and this is not something that is exclusive to Sony's first party games.
Now here we are less then a month away from both games coming out and if you are an Assassin's creed fan get ready to spend over $100 if you want to experience both of these great looking games.The worst part about writing this is the fact that Liberation looks like such a great game in every way. The connectivity with Assassin's Creed III on PS3 was also a great idea. It looks like it will deliver a real Assassin's Creed experience on a handheld in a way that Bloodlines tried admirably at on the PSP.
Sadly, this could have been the game that got the Vita some attention to the masses and raise sales finally. While I am sure that both games will sell well, I have no doubt that Ubisoft shot themselves in the foot by releasing Liberation on the same day as Assassin's Creed III. With low sales of Liberation that will also discourage Ubisoft and other publishers from making great games for Sony's latest handheld when it needs them the most right now.