I Wish Publishers Would Promote Games Without Ruining Them

Game developers and publishers need to leave more to the imagination.

BY LUCA D’ANGELO: The bombardment of trailers is inevitable in the build-up to a video game’s release. Video game publishers start generating interest and anticipation in their games and before they know it, they have an audience craving more and more information.

The only way to retain their attention is to continue to provide them with more trailers, more news, more details, otherwise, they risk losing a big portion of their audience. Unfortunately, choosing this route is a one-way street, as changing course down the line can ultimately lose the audience they’ve been cultivating.

It’s even more difficult when these trailers and reveals show that a title is moving away from what fans expect.  Think about how deep of a disapproval Final Fantasy XV gathered when it revealed to be completely different from its original form Final Fantasy Versus XIII, both lore- and gameplay-wise.  We will never know whether Square planned to create DLCs from the standpoint of Noct’s three friends from the beginning, or if the raging fandom eventually cornered them until they just had to do something about that. Either way, I’m still a great supporter of the choices and decisions they made for Final Fantasy XV, even while acknowledging its flaws.

The aforementioned “flood ’em with trailers” strategy, on the other hand, is something I don’t quite support. Think about Kingdom Hearts III, releasing in a couple months; we’ve all been waiting for almost 14 years for a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II.  In the years since Kingdom Hearts III was announced, we’ve been submerged by trailers on a yearly basis.  You can now count almost all of the Disney and Pixar worlds it will feature (let’s hope there actually are some we have yet to discover). And what about the Spoiler (which I won’t mention for obvious reasons)?

I’m really anticipating Kingdom Hearts III to my heart’s content, still, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed at knowing where Sora, Donald and Goofy’s journey will take them well before I’ve even had the chance to play the game.  And that Spoiler should have been a jaw-dropping surprise in-game, not some pre-release publicity. In this sense, I find myself appreciating strategies like Kojima’s one for Death Stranding, i.e. releasing brief gameplays and trailers while keeping the plot and the likes for themselves.  It’s drip-feeding players and keeping them interested, without taking away from the excitement to play the game.

And yet I can sense that Kingdom Hearts III will be a marvelous game, full of surprises and sad moments. “Who knows? Starting a new journey may not be so hard.” (Quote.)

I wish that they would have left more to the imagination, but let us hope it has a few more surprises up its sleeves.