Hype is a strange thing. It can make or break about anything, satisfy or dissatisfy our expectations and even make history for either the good or bad reasons. Where does this fit into gaming?
Well Grand Theft Auto IV shows us. Just think back to its release, it’s easy to remember. The amount of news, promotion and talk about the game was surreal. Expectations were high, maybe even too high. The hype was huge for GTA IV.
Then it released and everyone was left disappointed. It wasn’t as fun as it was made out to be and everything was a bit dull. I now have a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to GTA V, is it best not to know anything about it or build my expectations up only to witness them be crushed all over again?
It remains to be a perfect example of all the bad perks which come with hype. However, look to Journey and Sound Shapes. Now these games have received a lot of publicity, even before their release.
The former of which was ‘bigged’ up to be one of the best games of 2012. Even Sound Shapes has been dubbed as a somewhat saviour for the Vita during this drought phase of gaming. Has the hype done them any good?
The answer is yes. With new IPs it’s very different. We don’t know what to expect, it’s a new experience for us as a gamer so whatever we get we wont feel that bitter disappointment. Journey and Sound Shapes are both brilliant. Both are incredibly simple and beautiful games. I believe that the fact they are new ideas we have never seen before means that hype cannot turn out for the worse.
“The award winning Call of Duty franchise makes it’s triumphant return”. Even on box art do we have a hype generated.
This is worrying for future instalments into well established series. As with GTA now even the Assassins Creed and Call of Duty series are falling victims to hype. Both Revelations and Modern Warfare 3 were not welcomingly met by gamers. This was certainly my view. The reason being it wasn’t the first game of the series; it didn’t have that shock or surprise that the first game gave me.
We hear it all the time; “the biggest COD title yet”, “the best Uncharted game”, “the greatest multiplayer experience to date”. Subtle messages like this are promoted everywhere on the web; trailers, news articles and on product descriptions. Even on the back of the game case you read these messages! I know its ‘shoddy’ promotion of the game but it’s the big contributor to the hype.
This hype is ruining our experience of games, giving us too much to expect, well certainly only in games part of series. Maybe this hype can be diverted into the path of new IPs where it can make a difference for the better. Where the hype can be fulfilled and satisfied. Otherwise franchises will run dry in terms of our expectations and needs created by hype.