GamerSushi Asks: Resisting the Hype

resisting the hype battlefield 3

Sometime last year I made the promise to myself that I would stop trying to consume every piece of promotional material put out by the publishers. This included trailers, developer diaries, screenshots and anything else that came out of the hideous maw of the PR beast. It’s been a tough endeavor so far but I think it’s been worth it.

One of the main reasons I stopped partaking in this circus is that most trailers and screenshots for video games actually contain some pretty significant spoilers. You don’t realize it at the time because they’re out of context (and just a bunch of clips cut together), but you could be watching a really cool moment or a crucial plot twist. Movies are the same way, but games are so much more of a time investment.

The Mass Effect 2 launch trailer was a prime example of this, containing several scenes from the game’s climactic finale. Subconsciously, I found myself examining the game, waiting for one of those moments to pop up, and when they did it felt kind of diluted. I knew it was coming so when a certain big moment finally happened, I found myself thinking “oh good, I found it”, rather than enjoying the spectacle. The Saint’s Row the Third MW3/BF3 parody trailer also had a pretty big set piece at the end of it, but depending on what ending you chose, you might not have even seen it. True, you can replay the last mission, but going the “Gangsters in Space” route meant that you didn’t get to see the floating aircraft carrier advertised in the video.

Another reason I’m avoiding pre-release hype is that modern PR companies do a really good job of getting you excited for things that might turn out to be a steaming pile of crap. Again, this is something that movies have been doing for a long time (see the Battle: Los Angeles trailer which is better than the actual movie) but video games aren’t immune to it either. Battlefield 3 had a series of excellent trailers, masterfully crafted to hide the overbearing scripting and poor AI of the actual game. By focusing instead on the big explosions and the awesome graphics, the Fault Line and Thunder Run trailers managed to make BF3 look like a tight experiences as opposed to the mess it actually was. This is partly my fault for buying in to the hype, but when it came time to actually play the single-player Battlefield 3 campaign, this bit me in the ass. Hard.

resisting the hype mass effect 3

I understand that because games are announced so far in advance of their release dates that publishers feel the need to constantly string us along, but I’m kind of getting tired of it at this point. Maybe if the industry started announcing games a year out as opposed to two or three (or more as was the case with The Old Republic, one of the biggest offenders) all these trailers would be a bit more bearable because we wouldn’t be seeing one new one a week. Mass Effect 3 has had a trailer almost every day for the past month, it seems like. Live action and elaborate CG trailers are all well and good, but pick one or the other. Don’t shove both down our throats the week before the game comes out.

Even gaming publications aren’t immune to my ban because they’re just as guilty for bringing us all this. They may pretend to be against it, and mock certain assets, but they’ve still got to make money. There are less and less critical voices in gaming because of all the ad money tied up in it and because of this every game looks promising before release. Heck, the game AMY, which was famously panned by critics just a few weeks ago, was getting positive previews. Assassin’s Creed 3 managed to get the entire GamerSushi staff pumped up for it by releasing select bits of carefully selected, juicy info. While I’m sure I’ll love the game, I don’t need a seven-month boner for it.

I really like the community here at GamerSushi because we all seem to be of the same mind about this. We post the trailers that we think are cool or that you guys would like to see, but we don’t go out of our way to find every single bit of marketing. I think this helps us stay focused on the discussion of gaming as a hobby and not an entertainment industry. It’s a very thin line, but I think we walk it pretty well.

What about you guys? Do you also avoid pre-release materials, or do you gobble them up? What hype train have you ridden only to have it derail at the end?

Written by Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Mister_L Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: PUBG, Rainbow 6: Siege, Assassin's Creed: Origins, Total War: Warhammer 2

5 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Resisting the Hype”

  1. I gobble them up on certain things, but stay away from them with others. Two examples would be Uncharted 3 and Bioshock Infinite. Both of those games I’m playing for the story and the experience, and I just new a trailer could possibly ruin it for me so I refused to watch them. Unfortunately I can’t stay away from the Mass Effect trailers (I don’t read the previews though). And when you mentioned the spoilers part Mitch I instantly thought of the movie The Grey. Luckily I didn’t see the trailer before I saw the movie (which was outstanding btw), but I watched it later and I was in awe of how they literally had the last seconds of the movie’s great and controversial ending in the trailer! Why in God’s name would you do that?!

  2. I got the distinct feeling i was watching some spoilers when i saw the Mass Effect 3 launch trailer. While i don’t normal mind spoilers it just seems dumb to put them in a launch trailer like they did with Mass Effect 1 and 2.

    Saying that i do grab all the info i can but its more about curiosity than fanboyism, i even do it for games i know i wont get round to playing.

  3. I have done a Mass Effect 3 media lockout. With the exception of the Take Back Earth trailer, i have avoided every potential spoiler like the plague. So far so good and only 2 more days to go!

    I did ride the hype train for AVP and i was extremely disappointed by the end result, i didn’t even try to finish the game.

  4. I’ve also been on a media lockout for Mass Effect 3. When 2 was coming out I absorbed every single piece of media I could find – trailers, screenshots, dev diaries all of it. For 3, I know I’m buying the game, I know it will be amazing, so I have specifically avoided all information. I didn’t even know there had been a story leak from the beta until weeks after it happened. I am actually surprised how well I’ve gone so far. Unfortunately it also means that I’ve had to skip out on a couple of recent podcasts. I know you guys try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but I didn’t want to risk it.

  5. Thank you for not posting every single trailer or headline, Gamersushi. I’m like you, Mitch; I hate getting movies and games spoiled, especially from trailers.
    I agree that games shouldn’t have such long stretches of hype trains. Everyone wins the less hype time there is; gamers aren’t so inundated, developers don’t have to reveal as much content and the content they do show won’t be repeated ad nauseum, and publishers don’t have to shell out so much money to market it for so long and so ubiquitously.

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