How Hype Ruins the Video Game Industry
Hype is a word that we gamers hear on an almost daily basis. While not exclusively used by the video game industry, hype is a word that we who partake in the industry have taken as our own and we often use it to describe how excited we are for an upcoming game. But how many people know the definition of the word? You see, hype is not a measure of self excitement, but by definition is an “extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion.”
The gaming industry has always had issues with using words in the way they’re not supposed to, with words like innovation or iconic being dragged through the dirt on a daily basis. Hype however, is probably the most dangerous word that has been appropriated because it can effectively sink a game before it’s even left the developer’s hand. Anyone who understands the value of an ad campaign will know that a few well placed phrases can change the hearts and minds of people making them see a game or a company differently and people can be fickle.
A cautionary tale of the dangers of hype is the infamous Watch_dogs. If you look at the score it now has on ‘Metacritic’ it’s scored a fair 6 out of 10 but when it released, it had a crushing 4 or even 3 out of 10 which was just dishonest. The reason for the score was because the hype made it seem like it was the next step in a whirlwind of progress for the industry, when in fact it showed itself to be nothing more than an average game. There is also an opposite effect, however with games getting more praise than they deserve and you will often see these games on a “top 10 overrated games list.”
When it comes down to it, the whole idea that Hype ruins the game industry is in my opinion, incorrect. As I said earlier, Hype is a marketing technique and a company will only do something if it’s profitable so it’s not killing the games industry per se but it is killing the games for the players. We are fed an expectation and often we’re left disappointed with the result.