The (un)importance of a hype...

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Taleweaver, Apr 10, 2015.

?

How important is a hype when it comes to a game?

  1. Very important: I ADORE looking forward to games. I wanna know as much as I can in advance

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. Mildly important: it has its uses. I often watch it, but not for all my purchases

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  3. Neutral: there are some good sides and some bad sides to it

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. Somewhat unimportant: it has more downsides that advantages

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Unimportant: I avoid hypes, and tend to know which games I like eventually anyway

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  6. Against: I think hypes are actually damaging to the overall quality of games

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  7. Other, namely... (clarify in post)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Taleweaver
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    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    This thread is somewhat inspired by Vipera's thread about preorders, but kind of went back and forth in my mind since ryukouki's thread about cinematics in games, as well as anytime I think about E3.
    We all know what a hype is. We all know that companies (at least the larger ones) have a tendency of playing the audience by making a spectacle about what they're working on. Announcements, teasers, trailers, video footage, press releases, dev interviews, game previews, early access, kickstarter, preorders (with goodies), open betas...and I'm probably missing some*. The very fact that "game journalism" is an industry sort of proves it. And it's...rather big, at least compared to other industries (cooks don't throw out teasers of their next cooking book, movies usually start hyping things up after the movie is done and while I'm not much of a music fan, I doubt there's as much ado about day1 album purchase as there is in gaming).

    I have my very subjective view on all of this this, which I'll try to analyse in a second. But for all the negativity there is in the news, the reality is as it is, and it's not without merit. As such, this question. How much do you like it if a game is hyped?

    Please try to answer this question truthfully. It's easy to pick the most negative example you can think of and let that cloud your vision, but at least compare it to the good things in the past.
    Voted? Okay...from here on out, I won't be trying to stay neutral on the subject.
    Personally, I never preordered, only payed early access once (which was but a couple weeks before final release anyway), never backed kickstarter and never got in line for a first day purchase either. Heck, I can still count all the DLC I bought on a single hand. This isn't so much that I'm a cheapskate (which I am...I admit it), but that I'm old enough to remember the times when games had to be finished on release day. There was no excuse then, and IMHO, there isn't an excuse now. So I'll rather wait my purchase until they've ironed out all the bugs. That said game somehow gets much cheaper in the process certainly hasn't convinced me otherwise. :P

    So until recently, I was just a happy 'unimportant' voter on this poll. I certainly was aware that game companies announce their newest franchises sometimes years in advance, but it didn't bother me. At best, I thought something in the lines of 'hmm...I probably should check out an earlier release of that franchise at one point'. And then totally forgetting it because my backlog is already too full as it is (I AM working on it :P ).

    I also remember being annoyed at gamers proclaiming that X or Y is ruining the industry. Not just because "the industry" doesn't refer as much to the gaming industry as to the gaming journalism industry. Yes, some games turn out to be horrible, but that's nothing new. If you want to be the first to play it, you can't complain that independent user reviews haven't had the chance to warn you yet. If you want to talk about the games industry, talk about studios going bankrupt or quality devs quitting their jobs. Talk about innovations that spark interest or novel ideas that actually work. But we don't. And it's getting off-topic in a thread about hype.

    Anyway...my opinion sort of started shifting after noticing some games where the quality in levels differ widely. Almost suspiciously to the point where it became apparent which parts where highlighted in promotion materials and which weren't. And some parts tend to drag on longer than needed. Unskippable cutscènes, boring fetch quests or even overly long death animations (ever since rayman origins, I consider each death animation longer than 5 seconds to be 'too long'). At first I didn't know why, but then I heard some enthousiast reviewers say something in the lines of "this is a 40 hour game :D ". Yeah, congratulations...I'd rather have it cut 10 hours of repetitive dialogue, the character dying or loading screens.

    And then there's the cinematics thread I linked to earlier. Cinematics are expensive, immersive (if done right), up the play time and are technically easier to implement (since there's no interaction, bugs are less likely to occur). All good threats. And I've not even mentioned the most important one: great advertisement material. Game trailers that don't show the actual GAME are actually common now.

    By itself, I would still be on my 'have your damn hype and leave me alone'-opinion. But seeing how games have big budgets nowadays, it's important to know where all the budget goes. And that's where things start to get important. I lost my source (sorry), but I've heard that on some titles, the budget on hype was as much as on the game itself. And with games like the order 1886 having more cinematics than actual game, I almost feel sorry for the guys who actually have to make the GAME part of the game. I almost dread to think how the credits of that game would look. 50% marketing, 25% cinematics, 10% console, multiplayer and engine optimization, 5% beta testers, 5% level designers and 5% guys who actually make the game, perhaps? :unsure:

    Speaking of hype, I can't really get around E3. I hate all the "it's all about the games! :D " mentality. Which is plain put not true. It's all about UPCOMING games, yes. But if you want reflection of what the good games of the past where, you'll have to go to award shows or wait 'til Christmas on youtube. And even that only mentions the last year, and rarely any trends beyond that. E3 is one big commercial break. EA probably won't even mention the fact they've closed down maxis (if they do, it's because they have a "similar" game coming up).

    I really don't want to bash on hypes in general. Everyone else seems to already do it, and it's an easy target (me: "blah, blah, blah, sim city, blah, blah, colonial marines!" Audience: OMG you are so right!!!!! :D "). I know there is some good thing to it, but I can only name two of which the first one is abstract to begin with:
    -anticipation. It's fun to have something to look forward to. At the very least, it gets you up in the morning.
    -full servers. start playing a game years after release, and chances are the servers are either empty or filled with veterans who blow you away (hopefully not verbally, though that tend to happen as well). On launch day, at least you'll find people just as new to the game as you are.

    So...there you have it. Any opinions? :)

    *I'm leaving out demo' and shareware, as they are typically released AFTER the product has gone gold. this thread is about everything BEFORE the release date.
     
    Vipera likes this.
  2. Spectro87

    Spectro87 GBAtemp Regular

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    Personally, I don't really hype myself up for many games anymore. I've been burned far too many times. It's better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.
     
  3. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

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    I'm neutral.
    It's good to know things about upcoming games and all, but after a point they start to explain the game inner workings and spoil way too much information about the story and system that on release day when you get the game and start playing, you already know what's happening and eliminate all the surprise and excitement of playing something new(I need to hunt monster A to obtain item B and forge weapon C, instead of. I want to forge weapon C but the blacksmith said that I need item B so I need to hunt a monster, lemme see the monster log to check if I already killed the monster that drops the item), it feels old right away and lose the will to continue past the intro.
    A good example of that is Super Smash bros 4, the game was hyped to no end until got released on Wii U and all the surprise of the hidden characters was ruined because they showcased 90% of the cast before anyone could get his hand on the game. When I started playing and started unlocking characters I was like "meh, unlocked this at least" until I fought Duck Hunt, the only character that was unannounced when I unlocked them, I was "wooooo, Duck Hunt?!?!?!? RLY???? I didn't saw that coming" and then I saw the trailer and was "meh, already unlocked, no thanks to you spoilerific trailer"
     
  4. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    Hype is vital for PR and advertising the product that the companies make and very well affects sales that the game will have in the end. However it does nothing for the actual game per say and often hurts the game by the game not living up to the high expectations that the marketing team set for the game.
     
  5. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

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    Most games that are hyped I end up not liking them.

    Eh, I prefer old school games anyway.
     
  6. Hells Malice

    Hells Malice Are you a bully?

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    "a hype"
    what?
    It's not a thing developers can buy for their game.
    "Yeah hey Bill, better order like 3 extra hypes, this game is gonna be sick."
     
  7. Taleweaver
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    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Are you kidding me? Developers buy these all the time. I even list them pretty much at the beginning: ("Announcements, teasers, trailers, video footage, press releases, dev interviews, game previews, early access, kickstarter, preorders (with goodies), open betas...and I'm probably missing some").

    A hype is just the total of 'being talked about before it's out', arguably in a good sense. Aside from kickstarter, all these are means to get the word out, get people talking about certain games. Devs know that if in a group of 10 people, 9 want a certain game, the 10th is going to want it as well. How good the game is actually going to be is still unclear, so what other reasons would there be for all the promotion material aside from creating a hype? (or at least attempting to)
     
  8. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    I don't tend to get overly hyped about games. I get a bit excited, sure, I was excited to try out Axiom Verge, I was excited to play Bloodborne, but hype to the point that I'm going insane not being able to play it, no, not really.

    Edit - Taleweaver I think that Hells Malice is saying is that "hype" isn't a tangible object and thus shouldn't have "a" in front of it. I think "The (un)importance of hype", etc, would be more proper ;)
     
  9. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

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    I'm glad my post could be one of the reasons to write such an interesting thought.

    Overly-excited hype is just stupid, I 100% agree. There is good advertising and then there is just shoving ads down people's throats hoping that the game is going to be the best thing ever. But the problem is that the overly advertised "experience like never before" is... just a game. Don't get me wrong, I love games and play a lot of them, but marketing should never treat one like the best experience, because that's just not true. You don't see the same marketing for movies, music, or books. Why games then?
    If you over-hype something you will NEVER be able to reach the glory you just showed in your ad. Good ad campaigns don't play on insisting, but rather giving people something to remember. Something that's not a lie, possibly. In the end, how long will I play the new over-hyped game? 15, maybe 20 hours? To me, that translates to a week of gaming fun. This is why I don't like ads that keep pushing YEARS before release. I'm going to spend a week on that game, or maybe a month or two, depending how long it will be. Anything else (fanart, fan theories, fan fictions) come later, not before.
    Then there is the problem that, while some games get a monstrously large ad campaign, other games don't, and sometimes they are better than the AAA titles (who remembers 2008?)
     
  10. Hells Malice

    Hells Malice Are you a bully?

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    I didn't read your blob and after this i'm glad I didn't waste my time, haha.
    No you can't buy hype. You can advertise and show off your product as much as humanly possible, it doesn't mean it'll actually directly get hyped, just known.
    Unless companies literally pay and hire people to be excited for their game (which is why no one reads 'professional' reviews anymore), they cannot buy hype. it's just not possible because THAT is what it would mean. Announcements, teasers, trailer, and the other crap you listed isn't buying hype. It's just ways you try to generate and feed hype, but again there's no guarantee you actually WILL. Thus you cannot buy "a hype". Hype is not an object which you can buy and just insert into your product.

    It's always important to get your game known. It doesn't matter how good or bad it is, the right marketing and showing the right material will feed sales heavily. We as consumers just need to learn a little bit more patience. Gamers have got to be the most impatient creatures in the entire world. That impatience makes them remarkably easy targets, especially for falling for hype.
    Overall I don't think there's anything wrong with companies doing everything they can to get their games name out there. At the end of the day it's moronic consumers faults for blindly buying into it without waiting for credible outside sources to confirm or deny anything, or using their own eyes to judge the game by waiting for real footage of the actual game itself.