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Reader Comments (43)

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:17AM lizardbones said

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Yes. They should tone it down.

They won't, and I guess they have their reasons...probably more to do with investor relations than anything else...but it does make it difficult to not be pessimistic when you're looking at new games coming out.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:20AM nomoredroids said

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I think hype is all some of these games really have.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:26AM Dromoxy said

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In my experience what tends to happen is that the developers try to just be to "revolutionary" and more often then not lose sight of what gamers find fun. In the end they tend to spend way to much time on their "new revolutionary hyper super eleven million subscription collecting" features they end up lacking in nearly everything else thus making the game a complete turd.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:26AM nevin said

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In most companies I have seen the innards of, the marketing people bullshit and the sales people rarely morally sell what the customer needs.

In terms of MMO's I think recent releases have shown that unrealistic portrayal of features is quickly shown upon release for the lies they are and the company has massive damage limitation to perform.

What amazes me is that some companies just keep doing it in spite of the evidence it is a short term position and the long term one is so much more important.

I would say to any company spokesman that is tempted to lie about their game to the public is look at Erling and Gaute from Funcom during AoC's development and the impact of where that can lead.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:27AM koehler83 said

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Oh man yes! Especially in MMOs.

It's a strange genre in which the game itself often takes a second fiddle to the community.

Over hyping a game fills that community with great expectations that aren't met, turning the community against the game and itself.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:30AM Faryon said

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Yes, I can understand that they need to overhype to a certain degree because thats just how most marketing works, but some developers/publishers take it way too far and promise way more than they can deliver.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:30AM Arkanaloth said

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Yes, they really do. I would like to see more companies speak to what the game does instead of comparing it to the 800 lb gorilla in the corner.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:32AM Ocho said

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I'm happy when developers become as transparent as they can and start showing all the details like the artwork and the videos and the whole development process. This way, instead of them just coming out with claims of "Our game rocks! We have 5 years of voiceover work!!" that they actually have samples and extended writeups to back up their claims. So, yeah, I like it when a developer is enthusiastic about their product and keeps in regular communication with their audience, even if the game is nothing new...

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:41AM Channel84 said

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I think user overhype the game and create unrealistic expectation.
eg given by the article bout killing 10 rats.....what do you expect them to replace it with?
When i read on gw2 or TOR forum and stuff, i see people complaining certain thing or feature that they dislike and right off immediately another forumer will step in and say that this is still in beta or alpha and the dev will probably have it fix by launch.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:37PM nomoredroids said

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@Channel84

"what do you expect them to replace it with?"

Go play Risen or Oblivion. The quests in both games NEVER amount to "kill 10 rats," and rarely amount to "collect x and deliver." Yet Oblivion has at the very least 100 hours of side quests, not including the dungeons. Risen has at least two to three dozen hours of added playtime, as well.

But no, we should all expect garbage, because that's what we're used to getting, and by golly, that's what we're going to get anyway.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 8:41AM SergeGaltier said

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Yeah I agree that games are way over hyped, but honestly what are they gonna say. "Hey! come play our reskined version of the same game you've been playing for the last 6 years!...Now with better graphics!....maybe"

It is just going to fall on consumers to not fall for the hype, we just want the next new thing sooooo bad a lot of us have blinders on.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 9:13AM Anatidae said

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Of course. MMO companies are horrible at marketing.

Most MMO development companies start talking about their game years before release. They go on and on about their features, often before any of them are programmed, tested, etc... On top of setting unrealistic expectations with the audience, they also release so many spoilers it is almost pointless to play the game.

Take a look at movies. Even a movie that is overhyped still only has 4-5 trailers. Sure, they often give away too much story, but the idea of the trailer that it is a single teaser to get you in the big thing. Not pages of documents.

And Apple, the king of marketing, knows exactly that if you want to sell a lot of something, you wait until release is just about ready, then hype like crazy. You see, if you hype your audience up, the best thing to do is have a product ready to buy. The whole point of hype is to get a consumer thinking emotionally instead of logically.

MMO developers fall on the horrible scale when it comes to marketing (in general).

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 11:19AM Scotland Tom said

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@Anatidae

I think you hit the nail on the head. Most companies in other sectors base their marketing and hype around a product that already exists or is otherwise very near completion. That way the hype starts with a solid foundation that probably won't change much before it's released.

MMOs (and games in general honestly) don't seem to get that. They start the hype often as soon as they can get a few good screenshots, a video or even just some concept art out the door. The hype for these games is thus based on a product likely to change drastically before release. Not a very good marketing strategy if you ask me.

The only proof you need that the gaming industry consistently fails in this area is Spore. There's a game whose hype was based more on early prototypes than it was the final product.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 11:35AM Irem said

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@Anatidae
Agreed. It's really gotten to the point that I have trouble believing anything that's talked about by a developer until I see actual evidence of it.

Not that I think they're deliberately lying or misleading people, it's just that after the eighteen trillionth time some wide-eyed, greatly excited, super-ambitious dev wants to tell everyone how his or her game is going to change the world, it starts to become clear that very few of them have any idea how exactly they're going to do that.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 9:23AM SergeGaltier said

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@Anatidae
You I never really looked at it like that but you Sir are absolutely correct.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 9:40AM Kulta said

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I think they often shot themselves in the foot, they cause so much hype and promises or greatness that when it falls short players go elsewhere.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 9:43AM Laren said

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Yes. But at this point everyone is doing it to try and gain some 'press time'.

Why do you think so much of us were upset at the coverage you guys gave ffxiv? While readers are starting to see through it all, the 'press' still has a lot of work to do.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 11:47AM Anatidae said

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@Laren Well, from a marketing perspective, press time is great. And publishers/developers should do all they can to get the press.

It is the timing that is off. I said it earlier; the whole reason to get press is to generate an emotional impulse to buy. No one "needs" a video game. We need food, shelter, etc... but not games. When you are marketing any product that does not fill a basic human need or closely connected to achieving needs (like a new work computer, which helps earn money to buy food), you have to appeal to the emotional side of the consumer.

One day some MMO developer is going to market like Apple and announce a product within a month or so of release and they will likely sell a ton more product. Of course, that won't keep players - the quality of the game dictates that - but it will get a flood of initial people.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 10:02AM Stormwaltz said

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"Promise" to much? In my experience, many of the things taken as "promises" by gamers are cases where a developer has said, "here's what we hope to do" or "here's what the current plan is."

People who follow game news rarely appreciate the "this is what we want, this is what we get" nature of development. When there are unexpected delays and obstacles, hopes and plans must change.

That aside:

When was the last time anyone, press or gamer, got excited over a developer saying their game won't break any new ground, but will be a solid, enjoyable experience? Although people bemoan the supposed lack of "competence" in dev teams, they also bemoan games that merely execute what's been done before with competence and polish.

It's not enough to be good. You have to be New! Exciting! Different!

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 10:27AM Laren said

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@Stormwaltz

Your post comes off as sarcastic...but it shouldn't! New games can't just be a 'solid experience'. They need to be new, refreshing, exciting... Else why should I bother playing it?

Mmos need to differentiate themselves... A 'good solid experience' is not enough. Why should I play game abc instead of xyz? Market is saturated... To claim your game is 'solid' will get you nowhere.
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