Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 21, 2014

Email: Anti-Hype

You mentioned earlier why people even bother being hyped about games anymore, because if they were good, then they’d always be good regardless if you got them on the day they came out or a year after the fact.  I know ever since I started reading your site I began adopting this mindset more and more.

I think the biggest example for me was Aliens Colonial Marines.  I’m not sure if anybody mentioned it to you before, but the game was basically in development limbo for years (not sure if it was quite as close as Duke Nuke’em Forever, but it was up there).  Eventually its development got pushed through and it started getting hyped up by the Publisher, Gearbox.  The more I watched, the more skeptical I became.  I thought, “Well, I’ll just wait and see what other people have to say about this game and then see out it turns out.”  There was even a now infamous demo of the game at the E3 before it came out, showing how cool it was gonna be.
What was promised:
What we wound up getting the next year:
A friend of mine wound up getting it out of curiosity a few months after the fact and I played it with him, and it’s every bit as awful as they said.  Rightfully, many people rose hell over why there was such a difference between that E3 demo and the final product.  Unfortunately, it seems with the whole Assassin’s Creed Unity fiasco (requiring a 40 GIGABYTE PATCH), or with The Master Chief Collection not fully working on launch, people still aren’t learning, though you are seeing more people raise hell over these things.  Hell, people are now starting to flatout regard the developers of Call of Duty as being liars because they promise to put things in their next game–like dedicated servers–and then don’t.  They promise to balance things–like the sniper rifles–and don’t.  They promise the game will look “next gen” but it winds up looking the same as–or worse–than the game before it.
Because of all of this, everybody is losing faith in the gaming industry to deliver the steak, because all they can do is sizzle.  As someone I was watching before said, “It’s like paying 60 dollars for a two dollar steak that’s been overcooked.  You hyped this up to be an amazing steak, but all you did was disappoint me and waste my money.”  Hell, even last night one of my friends was lamenting that he spent 100 dollars on the special edition of The Last of Us, which he really loves, but if he’d known there’d be a new version for the PS4 a year or so later, he’d have probably not bought it.  Considering how they handled Street Fighter 4, do you think people will be rushing to buy up 5?  And then get hit with more DLC and “expansions”?  I think even the “hardcore” gamers are finally hitting their limits for this stuff:
As for myself, I’ve pretty much become anti-hype and “wait and see it for myself” in the past few years.  I was interested in Dragon’s Dogma but didn’t buy it for myself until I saw several of my friends play it for themselves.  Or I’ve bought games after they’ve been out for a year or two, or a few months after just to see if there’s anything unfinished or game-breaking about them.  I even just bought Diablo 3 last month and ordered Reaper of Souls this week at discounted prices, which seems to be the smart thing to do considering the game’s rather rocky and dissatisfying first year.  I’m now more or less playing the ideal version of the game now, which I wouldn’t have been if I’d bought into the hype from the outset.  And D3 is pretty enjoyable, but my friends who played it from the outset had a very different opinion on it.
And of course this has also been my attitude to Nintendo now for awhile.  As you said, what is rotting out the game industry is also rotting out Nintendo.  If I won’t give in to the hype for the rest of the industry, then I’m most certainly not going to extend it to Nintendo.  Hopefully Nintendo will get their act together for the next generation.  But I’m not holding my breath at this point.  I’ll just wait if they can deliver the steak, as well as the sizzle.
Girls do this with guys. “Hey girlie! I just met this guy… HE IS THE ONE! OMG OMG OMG OMG! I can’t wait to see how things work out for us!” They then discuss how things might work out for the next twelve hours. Hardcore gamers are like girls.
Of any great video game I had, I cannot think of when I was ever *hyped* for it (exception being Super Mario Brothers 3 which DID live up to the hype.) Great games are never hyped, they appear unexpectedly. I never knew games like Master of Orion, Master of Magic, Ultima 7, Chrono Trigger, among others would be so cool. Of all my gaming experiences, the hype only led to disappointment.
I actually got this anti-hype from someone who works at Blizzard (started before Starcraft 1 was released). “Why hype yourself over a game? It will be either good or bad, no point in obsessing over it.”
Hype seems to be a way for people to buy a game and like it before it is realized the game is not that good (and most games aren’t that good). This might be why most sales collapse after a month or two.
I’m beginning to suspect console companies love hype for games because the hype leads people to buying the hardware while waiting for their hyped game to arrive (while they buy other games as they wait). Nintendo does this all the time with games like Zelda and Metroid. “See? A new Zelda is coming. Look at the technical trailer! Buy our new hardware now. While you wait for the new Zelda, buy all these other games too!” Never has a console company, like Nintendo, said, “Just buy the hardware when the game comes out.” But that hype has led people to buy the hardware who do not really like the games on the system.
Going Anti-Hype has been much better on my wallet and my Internet browsing time.
One fun thing about retro gaming is that there is no hype whatsoever. The games have been out for decades. We know if it is good or not. There can be no trickery.


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