Sounds similar to Nintendo Direct.
I read that the big 3 are all skipping E3 this year. Maybe they are all doing ‘directs’ this year. Not sure E3 will survive.
So funny cause I see so many complaining ( seems to be all people can do these days ) about the push back of release day meaning it will be buggy…we are NMS fans! We are of a tougher variety! What are a few bugs?
Knowing that there will be delays, and bugs, and knowing that a game’s success depends on a well-timed marketing campaign, what would be the best approach for game devs? They can’t not announce a date and can’t just skip the promotions (which need time and planning)?
E.g. companies that sell enterprise software have delays every quarter as well. It’s just that Enterprise customers can’t ragequit and simply stop using the software, they’re stuck with it… In contrast to gamers who will switch to another game as soon as HG stop waving Twitch drops in front of our noses
For a while game devs can get away with saying it’s “early access / public alpha / beta”. If HG had had this option, would you think it might have softened the blow?
Starfield was able to be brutally honest about the (almost year long) delay, only because they had the budget, and nobody preordered the game. For me as prospective customer, the delay did not tie up money I could have spent on something else, hence I’m not mad at them. So “don’t offer preorders” seems to be a good advice?
Then you have the other extreme with games like Star Citizen which are “all alpha, all preorder, all the time!!11!” where you can even buy things that aren’t in the game. They are still in business, because their target group is “whales”. Rich customers with extra money to spend for whom the joy of gaming (and gambling, where the term originated) is to show off status symbols to one another, which they can already do.
So pick the right target group is another important step. Those people who complained the most when NMS came out were the ones who wanted to conquer the galaxy (and then there was nobody there to rule over…). The ones who just wanted to explore colourful wacky places did not complain. So if their marketing had targeted that group, they would have sold less but the release might have gone better.
Firstly let me say that I’m not trying to start an argument. I agree with what you say, but only in some circumstances. I think if we’re dealing with a generic game, in a market that’s already well supplied with alternatives, then a good marketing campaign is essential.
However, some of the best and most innovative games had little or no marketing or advertising, and became popular purely via word of mouth. Think Doom, Morrowind, Rogue, and Half-Life. I can probably think of dozens of others. If your game is really good, it will succeed regardless of marketing.
Bethesda have a huge following, and their products are eagerly anticipated. I know they do have expensive and elaborate marketing campaigns - but I suspect they don’t need to. I suspect an enormous, loyal, fan base, and social media, are all the promotion they require. I suspect Bethesda’s campaigns are more about managing expectations than generating sales.
No sex! Well yeah obviously! They’re in space suits, duh!! And it will be high in violence, the same ranking as Skyrim, for comparison.
As many other games, it then gets an 18+ rating for encouraging “drug use” for RPG-style potions. Skyrim also has potions but did not get this drug warning. The difference is that in Skyrim, there are no addiction mechanics, and in e.g. Rimworld – and apparently Starfield-- players can get addicted. Which I find interesting: Is it not better and more educational to punish the player for overusing potions? They should put the 18+ on games where drugs are depicted as harmless.
It also ranks high in mentioning so called “themes” which is normal for a game that is not targeted at children.
“Themes” includes social issues such as crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependency, death, serious illness, war, family breakdown and racism […] animal cruelty or predatory animal behaviour, gambling, crude humour, horror and scary content.
I’ve been playing Valheim (early access). It’s a survival game and I like parts of it. I only bought it because it could be played solo and, through the console, a solo player can become immortal - the fighting still wears your fingers out though. And I’ve taken up creating my own backups of the save files because I sometimes forget to become immortal and die - so far six times. It’s very disheartening.
So far have made it through the first three biomes. Each has something going for it and it’s enjoyable to just walk around. Unfortunately a lot of time is taken up with accumulating resources and it also doesn’t seem possible to completely eliminate the bad guys and they continue to randomly spawn.