The Evil Within was set for an October 21 release date until last month where at QuakeCon it was announced that it would be released a week earlier on October 14. While the official reason was because “they’re excited to get it out and it’s ready,” it was obvious the real reason was that Bethesda wanted to avoid competition with Evolve, a game that’s shaping up to be a major contender. Unfortunately, it was announced today that Evolve will be pushed to 2015. While that’s all kinds of disappointment in itself, it also probably made Bethesda facepalm pretty hard today.
With October 21 clear of Evolve, the day’s only competition is Fantasia Music: Evolved, Just Dance 2015, Samurai Warriors 4 and F1 2014. While the former two will be big sellers, none of the other games would interfere with a survival horror game like The Evil Within. October 14, however, is a different story. That day sees Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Raven’s Cry and Tears to Tiara II: Heir to the Overlord release. While the latter three likely won’t make much noise, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a highly anticipated title that will likely be a big seller. If the choice between squaring The Evil Within against Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel or Just Dance 2015 was given, we’re sure the dancing game option would be taken.
Furthermore, the current October 14 release date puts it only a week ahead of what’s shaping up to be a fantastic survival horror release in Alien: Isolation. With such a short time span between the two similar games, it’s likely many gamers will be forced to choose one or the other. And finally, its original October 21 release date put it much closer to Halloween, which is the bread and butter of the horror genre.
Facing competition from Evolve, moving The Evil Within up a week was a smart move. Now that it no longer has to contend with it, however, it seems clear that the original October 14 is the optimal day for release. This forces Bethesda into a tight spot, however, as if they change the release date again, not only will it make them seem uncommitted, but also prove they were intimidated by Evolve. Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: there’s not going to be any fruit baskets coming 2K’s way anytime soon from Bethesda.