How Hype Is Destroying Modern Video Game Industry
Hype, the over exaggeration of something for publicity or production, something we all are familiar with. Who hasn’t experienced the excitement bubbling up inside over an upcoming movie, a book from your new favorite author or an event? This is very much alive and well in the gaming community, and as fellow gamers, we can all relate to the amount of passion we all feel upon the release of a new title. With E3 now behind us, we have a whole slew of new titles to fawn over and get “hyped up” over within the upcoming months, but with this hype comes the realization of something falling short.
Imagine the day a new title drops in a local gaming shop, you’ve waited months and sometimes years for this new game and finally, it’s yours. You rush home to play and after hours of devoted game time, this new game isn’t at ALL what you’ve hoped or expected of it. Every single gamer as experienced this once or twice in their lives and this is where the gaming industry falls short.
When a game is put into production, the game is also given an advertising budget. This is to be spent on advertising to us, the gamers and consumers of the gaming media. These are the commercials you see on TV, ads on social media and in magazines. When a game has an upcoming release, these ads are practically crammed down the throats of gamers who happen to see them. Who can forget the flurry of ads for games like Destiny or Watch Dogs? These were meant to get you fired up for the game, be excited to play the new titles and buy them and their DLC releases. Such titles notorious for this like The Order: 1886 and the covenant No Man’s Sky?
Thinking back, who wouldn’t be excited for No Man Sky? It was at every gaming event for three years running up until it’s release in August of last year. In fact even before the game was released it won awards such as “Best Original Game” and “Best Independent Game”. With hype like this, who wouldn’t want to play this game? Then it dropped and suddenly it was the butt of the joke of the gaming community.
So where did this game fall short? The overhype of the title got many excited of promises to explore new worlds instantly, finding new species of creatures from these explored worlds and everyone having a different experience. Instead, everyone had a similar experience of nothing happening. The game led people on and then led them down a path of disappointment. This is how the gaming industry falls short: the build up and promises of games then the decline with lackluster gameplay or story.
Why does this happen? This is a psychological effect. The promise and excitement of something new and making it seem interesting to get the consumer purposefully excited. It makes you want to spend money to get what everyone is talking about. This doesn’t just apply to games; it also applies to toys when you were a child. Think about it, how many toys were seen on TV as the latest and greatest that everyone on the playground had. We all had these fads growing up: beyblades, hip klips, tamagotchi and Pokemon cards. The psychological effect of advertising gets you thinking you need to be part of the latest and greatest.
This same effect applies to video gaming and the hype behind a new game. Every trailer, every piece of media put out about a game is to show off how great the new title will be. It gets you excited that the game will be just like the trailers, and that is the main goal of the industry: to make a sale. If a game doesn’t quite end up as you expect, you’ve already paid and played for the product.
The company has already gotten your money, therefore winning the battle overall. While many are hard at work crafting these games such as artists, programmers, animators and writers the overall goal is to get money from the game’s initial sale. So, of course, the hype exists to get that money, because if you were excited about something, of course, you would spend money on it.
Of course, the hype isn’t always unjustified. Some games have come out that were worthy of the hype and some who didn’t get any hype but beat out everyone’s expectations. Everyone has their own expectations for games and either way we all still get to do what we love most which are playing games and getting excited about new ones.
#How Hype Is Destroying Modern Video Game Industry