How quickly "Spring 2008" becomes "Q1 2009." Ubisoft is the next up to confess it's shunted a title out of its fall lineup into next year, after we reported a similar delay for Namco-Bandai's Afro Samurai.
This time, it's Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, according to CVG, which sails right past Spring 2008 to land anywhere between January and March of next year. Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway has been bumped forward a bit to September as well, presumably to fill in the gap.
Why does this happen? Sometimes, it has less to do with the pace of development on a title as it has to do with financials, financials, financials. The strategy of slating more titles for the year than the publisher expects it will actually launch is a common one; companies decide on product lineups, and then move titles to the most opportune launch dates to keep its balance books looking good.
While many publishers do follow this methodology, you might have noticed by now that Ubisoft is particularly aggressive about keeping its schedule flexible. Just recently, it moved Splinter Cell: Conviction back as well, ostensibly to put more work into it and position it as a key title.
It's possible we'll continue to see more titles slated for the nebulous "Fall 2008" period getting the bump into next year as publishers re-evaluate their plans.
Tom Clancy's HAWX slips into 2009 [CVG]