HYPE: Is it hurting or helping unreleased games?

By: Sarah White       


They say if you don’t get your hopes up, you can’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, fans of any franchise get excited for a new instalment. If they get too excited, they often end up frustrated and let down by whatever it is they were looking forward too. I’ll say it now that unreleased games differs extremely from upcoming movies. Games are so immersive nowadays that the slightest error in fluidity of movement or poor storyline, creates a major upset amongst the gaming community. So if a game is promoted and pitched well, sometimes you can’t help but get excited for it. But how does this hype affect these games once they’re actually released?

Think back to a simpler time when you knew there was a game coming out and you thought “Cool, this looks like fun!” and that was that. Compared that to the promotional demos at E3 featuring super awesome gameplay clips. Now take a moment to remember that feeling of “Oh, this isn’t what I expected” after all those months of excitement. How often does a game live up to its hype? Not often. When they do, the hype from the gaming community definitely helps the company’s sales, as they’re the ones who are going to spread the word that “This game is awesome!”

Nintendo’s recently remastered Majora’s Mask was arguably one of the most anticipated games of 2015. This cloud of nostalgia and almost guaranteed success–looking at Nintendo’s previous revamps such as Ocarina of Time–had everyone itching to get their hands on this game. Several friends of mine were never huge Zelda fans, but the Majora’s Mask craze was contagious. Once released, the race to beat the game was on. And the verdict? Overwhelming success. The game lived up to, if not exceeded the hype. Suddenly for the few who were iffy about the game were out searching for a copy.

However, not all games are like this. Sometimes a game is put out and then word spreads like wildfire that it’s terrible and then potential sales die and before you know it, the game is listed in stores for a quarter of it’s original price. The name that probably comes to mind is Watch Dogs. The game had excessive amounts of hype during the years leading up to its release. The graphics in the game were stunning and the idea of being to hack into nearly any electronic thing seemed so cool and its online features promised to be unique. Though its initial unveiling was in 2012, it was pushed back until 2014. Unfortunately, many expected this time was used to make the game even better. It was already being called the next Grand Theft Auto. But would it live up to its hype? This was a game forum and gamers have been talking about for years at this point, and when it was released, the disappointment was devastating.

Watch Dogs isn’t a bad game, getting 8/10 stars on GameSpot. The disappointment was so overwhelming because it had spent two years snowballing and taking the hype to a surreal level. Players were expecting more than they could ever get and by the time they finally played it, they were already sick of it. Had the game not been the victim of this craze, I think it would’ve done a lot better amongst the fans. Like I said, it isn’t a bad game. It’s just not what it cracked out to be – some God-like game that would revolutionize the entire face of the industry. It was just a game with cool things to do and a lackluster plot.
Hype is a dangerous game to play. It’s a risk that some are too quick to take. The last thing the world needs is another Sonic 2006.


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