Can companies afford to spoon feed you info this generation?


#1

So I was watching some recent footage/interviews about the upcoming ‘The Last Of Us’ and I was mildly amused by how secretive and reserved that the devs were about a game that arrives in less than a month. Theres multiplayer but they cant talk about it. Theres a break in action for different styles of play but they cant talk about it. There are intense emotional sentimental moments but those are spoilers so you cant talk about it. Thinking back in recent years about what has happened with the internet and ambitious gamers with inside scoop ie: character roster leaks, searching demo coding for secrets, accidental info leaks on 3rd party sites etc etc… is this unnecessary secrecy helpful in ANY way now days to the consumer? Even back to vanilla marvel with SRK was hitting the nail on the head, Capcom still remained stubborn and persistent to admit the obvious (Jill/Shuma accidental leak on Gamestop.com & Thor/Amaterasu accidental leak on Marvel’s website) and lets not get started on SFxT…

Considering how many flagship titles (and highly anticipated titles in general) that have turned out to be less than stellar or just downright disappointing am I the only person who’s almost offended now when developers dont become more of an open book when discussing these games? Everything is “we cant talk about that just yet” or “you’ll see in the near future” bla bla. The golden age of gaming has passed so you would be a fool to blindly put pre-order faith in titles without having some substantial evidence that these games are going to deliver, (see: CoD Ghosts, [insert “Pre Order Now” game with no gameplay trailer]) I get the part about keeping some mystery to entice gamers but when all you have to wet your appetite to a game thats released in a month is a playable tech demo thats almost 9 months to a year old doesnt it just seem sinister for companies to insist you make an investment on a game that will have very little turnaround? ESPECIALLY when these same companies are so unwilling to give you the most basic of information regarding the game, but are happily obliged to give you the spill on plans for future DLC. I think its fucked up, and when are they going to start getting called out on their shit?

Just throwing it out there, I think The Last Of Us will be just like all the other Naughty Dog releases. An enjoyable experience, and when you finish you get no incentive to play a second time, less a year or two have passed and you want to revisit said experience. With that said what we have seen looks great, and the way the devs talk about the game SEEMS epic, but how would we really know until the 31st of this month (for everyone who spent 60 bucks to get God Of War?) only to play that old convention demo which still wouldnt be a real reflection of the finished product as yet it all seems like a big plot to get us to go out on faith about a game that can only be described as “trust us, this is a good game”…well no shit sherlock you made the game how bad could it be? What happened to gaming journalism that couldnt be bought off and made developers really try harder to impress instead of paying for endorsements and 9/10 scores?

Massive hype has turned out to be the jinx with the gaming industry these days its almost like they tried to steal a page out the movie industry’s book with this sensationalism that just turns out to be some of the most epic failure seen in recent times see: DmC Reboot, Asura’s Wrath, MW3, Resident Evil 6

Thought?


#2

With the way the internet is and Neogaf and Reddit there’s no chance in hell… Unless you’re SNKP.


#3

Funny tidbit: Most “hardcore” games (largely, wannabe movie QTE-fests with astronomical budgets that need to sell a million, often more, to break even at all*) sell on hype, and end up discounted, bargain binned, and used game shelves real snappily. They are not things that are made with much financial sense, and they are not things made to last. If the most appealing thing in your game is plot and cutscenes and it doesn’t have much replay value of course you dread things being revealed.

You know what the most interesting things about the Wii were? One was what questions were asked when the box itself was made. Sony’s driving question was “how do we make the best console possible?”, to which everything more and better is a very logical answer. Not a financially sane one, but logical and proper. So “what is good” was graphics and power.

What Nintendo asked was “how to make a box nobody hates”. This resulted in “what is good” being things like “small”, “quiet”, “not horribly expensive”, “doesn’t consume a ton of electricity”, “backwards compatible” and such. Same thing with the controller. Make it powerful but not scary. Motion is more natural than a million buttons.** So enter Wii hardware.

I explain these values because they explain why most third-party Wii games failed. The third parties didn’t realize “good” was redefined on the Wii. They saw people buy games in the vein of old arcade titles*** - things where you can quickly tell what’s going on, can begin playing quickly type of things, with an extra dose of friendly. Production values were not terribly high. Of course, from the old frame of reference these things looked odd - the checklist of “better technical graphics”, “more movie-like presentation”, “systems systems systems”, “online instead of the couch” told them these games were bad, disappointing. In some ways, even going backwards (because we’re usually taught that new is automatically better, which is not categorically true).
Clearly, the logical conclusion is that these people were idiots and were satisfied with things that needed no effort to make (I mean, just look at how unimpressive Wii Sports is). So the game industry made games for drooling idiots. Guess why they failed? A complete lack of respect for your audience is oftentimes a pretty bad thing in entertainment.

So that’s the bad games. What about the good ones, then? The interesting thing was how those good games sold. Their sales were not short, frontloaded spikes like on traditional industry consoles. Instead, they sold more steadily over a long period of time. This kind of sales pattern indicates sales by word of mouth, that is, satisfied customers telling and showing others how cool that stuff is. Many people were disappointed that Wii/DS games weren’t often discounted, but the reasons for that are plainly logical: You don’t need to if the product is moving all the time at full price. There’s little else to it.

*Yours truly’s slightly biased take.
**Not to imply that good pads are bad, I love me a good pad.
*** Ironically nowadays bashed as not being real games, when that is exactly what most people started gaming on. The simple, grokkable things like old SF and Mario and Sonic and the like. They are things that build audiences. The current crop of “hardcore” movie games for the most part do not. Past gaming growth largely rode on new geographical markets and general population growth. Less new geographical markets, a worse economy and declining populations mean they need broader appeal if the industry is to stay stable or grow at all. The current moviegame way isn’t doing it. It’s why the Wii and DS were made. Sadly, Nintendo went nuts and abandoned them. Luckily, karma and markets are a bitch and they’re paying for their mistakes.


#4

I don’t know where you were reading your gaming news, but from what I was reading the DmC reboot was hated since the teaser trailer. The only “hype” that I read for the game was “wait until you try it, just wait until you try it”.

I don’t mind the companies being secretive or not because as already mentioned this is the internet, people can find info on just about anything. The only time I don’t like companies being secretive is when they are flat out dodging important questions (like the dmc panel during i forget game conference). Sometimes the game developers divulge a ton of information and it works/doesn’t matter (like bioshock infinite) or it flops (dante’s inferno) so it’s not like the actual practice of divulging information is a consistent market model. I can understand if they don’t want to release too much information because there might be things subject to change or because QA hasn’t been keeping up with developers (not really a GOOD excuse) but at the same time there’s no reason to really drop that 50-60 dollars on a product day 1 or pre-order (unless there are some pre-order deals that you might really like).

There are people on youtube and other sites that devote their time playing/reviewing games on day 1. You trade the immediate fresh exposure feeling for more information as to whether the purchase will be good or not. Once you see that stuff on release day it won’t matter what the companies promised/hinted/hid because it is what it is.


#5

I cant believe the only thing you got from everything I typed was the fact that I might have used the word “hype” in reference to DmC.

Anyways I’m not saying even when questions are answered that translated to the game being successful which is what youre saying…

I’m saying there needs to be an open line of communication between the game developers and the consumers. But in actuality there needs not be because this industry has become a machine with a strategy to maximize profit and one of the many methods come in the form of sensationalism and spoon feeding.

Back in the day we didnt have teaser trailers that teased the trailer for the reveal of a new trailer at the Spike TV Videogame Awards.


#6

It was in regards to that. Hype wasn’t the jinx for the dmc reboot, marketing failure was.

You’re going to have to elaborate on this. You’re saying that there needs to be something but immediately say that there isn’t a need for it. The gaming industry has always been trying to maximize profits, it’s not a NPO for fun. Would be cool if it were. The games that are churned out for fun/creativity first and profits second are usually indie games, and they go by word of mouth as opposed to marketing.

Even if we were to remove your second sentence I would still disagree with the necessity of communication between game developers and consumers. Reason being that ideas clash a ton. If you read any of those blogs, AMAs, or threads where a game developer goes and asks “what would you like” or “what do you think about X” the thread is usually flooded with a ton of conflicting interests and a sample size that will always be way too small to represent a majority. Too many people just go by what they want as opposed to what a lot of people would like or sometimes they talk a good talk and don’t have any idea how to make things happen (ex/ make the characters have more depth, create better plot, make the game scarier, make the game more fast paced, make the game harder) or their interests clash with what a business needs to function (better graphics, wider expanse, different ports, all of which require more time and money invested). The very few people who are actually able to talk the talk and know how to deliver said suggestions in a well organized package are the ones who end up having a hand in games anyway (like Anthony Burch :D). If you’re good at something never do it for free, someone smart said that.


#7

well being given too much info can be bad as well because when you play the game it takes a bit of the mystery out of it and sense of awe when you make discoveries.
with most games i am excited to play i usually try not to read every little bit of info that is released ,so that it will add to my experience when i finally play the game.
i think what they are doing with the last of us is pretty smart. By being so ambiguous they are creating interest.
in other words you gotta tease um to please um


#8

Add that it was a terrible game in all fronts


#9

Stop supporting crap companies and let them go out of business.

Keep track of who is involved with the projects so you will know who to avoid and who not to avoid when new projects start.

Not likely to happen though considering that most kids are a bunch of Guinea pigs manipulated by propaganda.

You guys keep complaining about get fucked, but then keep coming back for more.

SMH :shake:


Nintendo Steals Money from Children
#10

Pretty much this. If you want a company to know that a product is not good then don’t buy it. So long as someone is buying something a company will keep churning it out whether it is good or not. People don’t use the praise they get to buy groceries.


#11

Other industries that were once smaller, niche markets, tried to go the corporate model, and because of how reality is, conflicted with big business practices, it eventually fucks itself up. Marketing seems to be the real puppet masters of this gen, buying off reviews, pumping the hype fumes for the herd to get high off of, and some how repeating this cycle while laughing all the way to the bank.


#12

Things like Steam Greenlight are really where devs should head towards with their games. Big pubs like EA and 2k Take Two get a lot of their sales off the merit of their franchises. Some developers do need that extra transparency. It’s like dealing with a shifty sales agent when purchasing a new title from a relatively unheard company. When you establish trust with a dev then a beneficial consumer-producer relationship can be made.
I’m pretty sure Beyond Good and Evil 2 is the only reason I pay attention to anything Ubisoft does so it may be a good thing for companies because it retains a consumers attention. That still doesn’t warrant the dickery of some devs though.


#13

Stop supporting crap companies…too easy.

Anyway, who are some companies and or creators who you wouldnt give time of day from a previous track record?


#14

Me? Nearly everyone. I don’t have a HD console because I didn’t like the way they’re heading. Same with the Wii U and 3DS and Sony handhelds. I just don’t buy anything day 1 anymore, because the safe default assumption is that it’s crap for my tastes at least. Before 2008 or so, I’d be excited by something Nintendo does by default because they were sane and doing things right - games that were unashamed of being games and didn’t try to be “a seriously taken at form” - but now? No. They went mad and did a 180 from the values of the Wii and think their customers are retarded because they don’t share Nintendo’s all-consuming obsession with 3D.
Same with other companies, but the industry companies proper tend to pursue artistry and stuff instead. All the same, the customer is forgotten.

I was growing disinterested in video gaming in the PS2 days already, if DS/Wii didn’t exist I’d probably not play video games anymore.

Funny tidbit: Blizzard is crap. Them being capable balancers is a myth. They used to be good world builders, but nowadays focus on making Hollywood moneyshot cutscenes and drama-driven hackplots and retcons.


#15

If you can’t take a moment of your time to become an informed consumer you deserve to get fucked. Watch a video, download a demo, check forums etc.


#16

At this point, only Platinum Games has my full support and any main series Pokemon game.

Everything else has become a wait-and-see… If I went back in time and told my 12-year-old self that companies like Capcom, Square, Sega, and even Nintendo were going to shit the bed as much as they have, he’d laugh me right out of the room as he kept playing Super Mario RPG and Street Fighter Alpha 2 at the arcade…


#17

Unless of course the game is following the model of the game I highlighted thats an amazing showcase of what this generation is all about: The Last Of Us.

All the videos are tech demos with developers blabbling all over it to hype it up. There is no demo just lots of upselling by NaughtyDog since only a handful of people have even had a hands on with this title and YET it is on EVERY “best games on 2013 list”

Dont get me started on GTAV. People are dying in the streets over it and we dont have one real look at console in-game non-doctored up gameplay.


#18

Speaking of demos, you know what’s bullshit? Time-limited demos.

And yeah, reviews are utterly useless. They’re either bought, or written by QTE enthusiasts, or both.

You want a joke, check the IGN video review of NSMB Wii. “Must bash Nintendo. Must bash, bash, bash… bash?”

EDIT: Forgot to mention whose review I was talking about. Oopsie ^^


#19

You think that is bullshit? No. MGS5’s “gameplay” demo was bullshit. There was no gameplay. All they did was show how good their crawling while tripping balls animations were. I guarantee you all the guy playing the game did was hold forward on the analog and it auto navigated for him.

As a MG fan I was just really pissed that I watched the video expecting gameplay and how the game works, and only got crawling


#20

Glad to see I’m not the only one fed up with the last of us being everyone’s best game of 2013. The game isn’t even fucking out yet and everyone has already determined it the best game. Bunch of uncharted fan boys… the game wasn’t even that good imo.