Does hype help or hinder Video Games?

The ‘AAA’ industry uses hype as a key tool in the marketing of video games in recent times. But does this hype help push sales, or does the weight of expectation then turn a good game sour?

The first point I think we have to touch on is that hype as a major marketing tool isn’t new in any industry. Hollywood has long used hype and excitement to drive whatever film they please. The key difference in the modern era, is social media. The grandest echo-chamber of them all has resulted in an increase of ‘hype’ for all mediums of entertainment. Everything these days has at least one trailer, if not more. Think, how many times have read, said or heard ‘I’m so hyped for this game’ in some variation over the last 5 years? The rise of social media has exponentially increased the amount of ‘hype’ for most art forms, but video games especially.

Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of the developers and publishers (most of the time anyway) hype often kills a game before it’s even done. For instance, the original Titanfall is a good Multiplayer only shooter. However, the hype behind that game, with some dubbing it the ‘Call Of Duty Killer’ caused what was a good game to fall under exceedingly high expectations (and a serious lack of content). There’s a whole section of games that fall under on that list, Evolve, Destiny (I realise Destiny got good after DLC but I’m not but I’m not paying for the full game after buying the full game) just to name two. The marketing campaign for these games must have cost a significant amount of the games budget (it certainly would explain the lack of content in each of the games listed). So it makes you wonder, if they just pulled back on the marketing budget and invested more into the game, would it have made more long-term cash for the publisher and developer?

From a more personal perspective, hype has damaged a game for me, Fallout 4. Now, I love the Fallout series (well 3 and New Vegas anyway), and 4 is great, but it’s lacking something for me. I’m aware of how good the game actually is, it just lacks some of that Fallout essence for me. When that game was announced, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to venture into the wasteland once again. The reality of the situation however, was I got myself so excited that my expectations of what was a truly fantastic game, were far too high. This made my opinion of a game that was actually very good, worse.

Hype does have its positives though. Imagine if there wasn’t a buzz on social media about that game you hadn’t heard of but love now. That game wouldn’t be in your life. That probably makes you sad (or at least a little less happy). Hype has driven lots of people to wonderful developers, and given them the platform they deserve aswell.

All in all, hype is a good tool, when used properly. However, we as consumers, need to temper our excitement/expectations for a game and take everything we see before a games release with healthy cynicism.


I’m Back! Updates! News! Excessive Use of Punctuation!

Like Jesus, with far less importance

First of all, apologies for the absence. Life got in the way a little bit. But I should be back to posting somewhat regular content now. I’ll be putting up my thoughts on the COD WW2 beta either today or tomorrow so that’s a start.

Second of all I’m hoping to launch a podcast soon so keep an eye out for that. It will most likely cover the news of that week and occasionally a review/ thoughts on a game. Although I’m not sure how soon that will be up and running but I’ll plug that on here.

Anyway that was just a small apology for the lack of activity (Not that you lot were missing out on much anyway) and a few bits to look forward to (I hope?) for the near future.



Are Video Games getting easier? Also Microtransactions Update!

Git Gud for £3.99

There has been a long-standing argument that video games are getting easier to appeal to younger players. You often hear older players complain that they didn’t have it as easy when they were growing up. And with the recent release of Crash Bandicoot: The N’sane Trilogy, social media has been talking about the level of difficulty that game and games even before it. So the question remains, are video games getting easier?

What’s changed?

Mechanically, games function a lot better for the most part. I recently re played Banjo Kazooie and the swimming mechanic made me nearly launch my controller at the wall. Games run a lot smoother which can create the illusion that a game is easier to play. Look at any Ubisoft open world game. Despite what you make of them as games, they do run quite smooth mechanically (usually anyway, Assassin’s Creed Unity and floors with more holes than Swiss Cheese withstanding). Now I loved games like Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie, but the 3D technology was fairly new at the time, so there were going be some issues.

Are the players just getting better?

With the rise in online gaming and E-Sports over the past decade, its safe to say the skill level in video games has risen exponentially. With the help of YouTube tutorials, walkthroughs and game guides, every average player can learn to get better at a game. This compared to the PS2, SNES and NES era, where you could buy strategy guides and the average player was only the champion among your friend groups.

And Finally…

Are Games getting easier?

No, games are getting better mechanically along with a higher skill levelled player base. This creates the illusion of an easier game. In some cases, they are actually becoming harder (Demon/Dark Souls started this trend and it can royally go fuck it self). Explaining why some people find Crash Bandicoot so difficult is simple, your reactions are slower than when you first played it and the mechanics are ever so slightly outdated.

Now an update on Microtransactions and how EA has managed to make me look like a complete tool.

As all 5 of you know, I’ve been singing the praises of Star Wars Battlefront 2’s DLC system since its announcement. However in a interview with Gamespot  Design Director Niklas Fegraeus said:

When you want to progress and get stuff, you can either play the game and when you play you earn the in-game currency, and with that you can spend towards whatever you want. If you want to accelerate that, if you can’t play for a week, you can purchase that.’

Essentially, you can accelerate progress and get better stuff by paying for it. This is, bluntly put, fucking stupid. The system will no doubt be exploited by people, and kinda makes the game pay to win. This is not the way to do microtansactions and I hope EA changes their minds about this.

Edit: Turns out EA has been using this accelerator type thing in the Battlefield franchise for some time, so I guess long term it’s not an issue.