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I am doing a project that requires info on how a game builds hype, how it advertises pre-launch, how it advertises launch, and how it continues attracting the masses post-launch.
Billboards (like GTA 4 had)
Why are games over-hyped so much? Is it just the way the public talks about certain features/designers of the game? Is the games studio something to do with it (like Blizzard for WoW when that came out)? Or even the franchise itself?
What do you think?
Any game designers here who have the insider info?
Word of mouth is probably one of the biggest, before i quit wow ( so just over a year ago) there were already people preaching about the new warhammer mmo and how awesome it'd be.
i think the fanatics help to spread product awarness
I´m not a big gamer anymore, but for me, what gets me interested in a game is the studio and franchise track record. Blizzard has a good one, EA a bad one
Even as a non-gamer I love the way Blizzard is doing business.
Blizzard has done a great job with quality control and community building, aswell as traditional advertisement often using new technology and pop-culture. They have pulled the plug on games they have felt were not up to their standard or didn´t fit into their franchises, which gives them credibility as giving a damn about the quality of their games. Through maintaining Battle.net, aswell as continued support for old games, they have built a devoted fanbase of hardcore gamers that support every new release aswell. BlizzCon is a great example of how they are building an image of not only being developers, but gamers and "nerds" themselves. Willing to make an effort to give their fans more than the in-game experience.
Obviously they do alot of traditional advertisement aswell, often tied in with their fanbase. These days they are doing a large-scale campaign to get WoW users to recruit their friends, giving those that recruit a new player unique in-game goods. Good way to bring in more users just in time for the next expansion pack.
Last edited by kab; October 6th, 2008 at 07:48 AM. Reason: spelling :)
Previously released and acclaimed games work best IMO. That's why Blizzard and Valve keep getting attention every time they announce games (or rumor of new games surface). And that's why there are so many one-game companies that die after their first game suffered from bad karma in the media. Good games sell more games
I think a game builds hype both by having a big set of well-known prequels and by putting up lots of trailers with ´awesome graphics´ on the internet.
For the hard core gamers i think internet is the largest source for gaming news and hype. The little less hard core probably hear about the game from a friend that has a friend that is a hard core gamer or something like that...
First in it's series, but not first in development. Fable was created by Lionhead Studios, the makers of Black & White (which almost died from it's overhyped state when it was released), read: Peter Molyneux and former Bullfrog-Team, which had already built one hell of a good reputation for making half a dozen of the most highly acclaimed games of the 90s (!!!)
As game development isn't a garage-style kind of business anymore, I doubt this kind of reasoning is future-proof though. Back when Bullfrog and Co. were established, chances were bigger that your game would be ace (all of them were, so what). Companies that are nearly 30 years old and hail from the cradle of game development rule the market (or parts of it) today.
I spoke to someone in the industry once and he told me that concept art is also used to build hype and to excite/tease people. Probably the reason why we see a concept art section in most game websites now.
When concept art is used as marketing art, it is a highly sanitized version. Sometimes such “concept art” wasn’t even concept art at all.
“Hype” is frequently just premature marketing. Basically, someone on the team thinks it would be a great idea to start releasing information, while others on the team who have less influence are busily pulling out their hair in frustration.
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To add to that community market theme:
- Convention presence
I always find it interesting how different studios with more titles often make crappier stuff, but those with just a few spread out over the course of a decade usually have better stuff. For example, in the last 10 years Blizzard has pumped out how many games? You can count them on your fingers. Starcraft and its expansion, 6 games having to go with Warcraft, Diablo 2, and the expansion for Diablo 2. EA pumps out about that many games per year, but most of them are crap with the exception of about one decent game every year or two.
(granted, it should be noted that not all games licensed by EA were made by EA, which better explains those numbers)
I agree with some previous posters here; the history creates the most pre-launch hype by a landslide. If a company has been known to create awesome games, a newer company would probably be up against the wall even if they were to advertise a lot more.
I have 60 dollars. Do I risk buying a brand new game by a company that I have not heard of, or do I buy that shiny World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King made by Blizzard that made quality games I've enjoyed for many years?
As for Fable, I believe there are always a small fraction of games which manage to capture gamers' attention based on aggressive pre-launch media. Simply posting pre-launch media isn't enough though; everybody does it now. If a trailer and other released information advertise a game to be different/improved enough from the competition (note: Age of Conan, Guild Wars, and Warhammer Online vs. World of Warcraft), it will surely be exposed and praised by many people through the many game sites such as kotaku.com. This, of course, does not always determine how well a game sells though, which is why I would put marketing media in second place to the history of the developer/games. Okami didn't do very well even though people realized how beautiful the game is before the launch and after launch. On the other hand, many people were automatically sold when they saw the awesome style of Team Fortress 2 (though the history of Team Fortress contributes a lot to their sales as well)
Last edited by Alex Chow; October 6th, 2008 at 11:00 PM.