Don’t get us wrong, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a very fun game. In fact, it’s one of the best games of 2015. That being said, it also came out the exact same day as Fallout 4, a game that’s been hyped for since pretty much the moment people got done with New Vegas. Also not helping is that Rise was a timed exclusive, and it’ll be another couple of months before everyone who wanted to play it will be able to.
Payday 2 came out a mere month before Grand Theft Auto V. Rockstar’s crime title made a big deal out of being able to do heists with your friends in multiplayer. But the wait for those heists went on until March 2015, months after it was ported to current consoles. That lull would’ve been the perfect time for Payday 2 to strike, with the promise of letting friends pull off heists on all systems.
August is usually when games come out again after having a little nap during the summer, but that didn’t really happen this year. Instead, No Man’s Sky dominated the month, for both good and bad reasons. As such, you may have forgotten that Adam Jensen’s next adventure came out. It’ll still be talked about thanks to the DLC and multiple choices, but this title would’ve gotten its full due if it came out now instead.
Last year, September was dominated by Metal Gear Solid V, the swan song of Hideo Kojima. You’d have to be crazy to put any games up against that thing, and crazy is exactly what WB was when they had Mad Max release on the same day. They may as well have given the game a spray can of Chrome and told it to ride on.
Another game that came out in 2013, DmC would’ve greatly benefited from holding back on its release until the following year. There wasn’t a lot of games out on the then new consoles that weren’t also remasters, so an “original” title would’ve been great to have on hand the first couple of months.
There have been plenty of "not so smart" release moves in gaming, and one of the biggest is Everquest II. There's nothing wrong with it, and there's still content being released for it to this day. But in hindsight, going up just weeks ahead of the giant that would become World of Warcraft is downright suicidal.