I hope the gaming industry realizes that more and more gamers are coming to this realization, but marketing is becoming more important to video game publishers than the actual game is.
I was reminded of this while I was watching the new reveal trailer for Destiny 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJLAJVmggt0
Obviously they aren’t going to show any gameplay yet to build on the hype snowball, but regardless of how well animated, funny, and gorgeous the new trailer looks, I have no idea what this game is actually going to be like. Even so, the pre-orders have already begun and I’m sure hundreds of people have preemptively forked over their sixty-plus dollars for a game they know pretty much nothing about.
I’d like to ask all dedicated gamers who enjoy quality games to STOP DOING THIS. Whatever trivial bonus you get for preordering isn’t worth wasting a full $60 on a game that isn’t worth that price. Perhaps the marketing that convinced you to purchase it was worth that much, but submitting your cash before a game is released and open to criticism isn’t a good idea if you want to tell these publishers that people won’t buy their games if they disappoint us.
I think fans and players of the original Destiny know this more than anyone, though. The first game had years of teasing and hype behind it, and the advertising for it was excellent. The Beta had me convinced there was a ton more content to see, then I was smacked in the face by a short, disappointing story and unbalanced, uninspired multiplayer.
Don’t get me wrong, I played a ton of Destiny, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was being held hostage by that $60 then $25 I spent initially then on the first couple of DLC releases. I finally got completely bored after House of Wolves then I stopped playing entirely. I wish I just waited to have my experience with that game once all the DLC was out and I could buy the complete bundle for under $60, which you can do now, and I would recommend as a good value.
Pre-ordering Destiny 2 will get you Beta access, allowing people to once again try the game before they buy it. The only difference is that the first time it was free. This time, they already have your purchase. I don’t know how good of a game the sequel to Destiny will be, but that’s exactly why you should wait to buy it.
The same goes for any game. No matter the franchise, I will never pre-order another game, no matter what bullshit they offer me for doing it. I want quality games, not mediocre experiences wrapped up in a large marketing budget, pretty trailers, and unrealistic E3 game-play demos.
And publishers, I realize that marketing is a big part of what sells games, but please don’t put unnecessary stress and creative limitations on our poor developers. Don’t announce a game years before it’s release. Building hype is important, but honesty is even more so. Don’t sell us an experience we really won’t be getting.
If it means waiting a day or two for real consumer opinions to surface before I purchase, that’s how long I’m going to wait. I’m not going to pay full price for another The Division or No Man’s Sky.
I don’t think gamers are stupid, and they’re catching on to your dishonesty and marketing strategies. All we want is to play good games. We don’t want to be strung along and constantly disappointed.