The Hype Cycle That Is Harming This Industry
No Man’s Sky is finally out, and its release has been met with the ire of many a pre-order customer. While I have not played the game yet, and Entertainment Buddha has yet to publish a review of this game, the internet is at war with itself. On several YouTube videos and Reddit posts people are lighting torches and sharpening pitchforks claiming that No Man’s Sky is nothing more then a husk of what was promised.
Though I cannot comment about the state of the game, this does just serve as another example of why the cycle of hype is such a harmful force in the games industry. No Man’s Sky is not the issue here, it’s the perpetual cycle of consumers getting exposed to a game way too early, being told about all the amazing things coming, offering Collector’s Editions and extensive pre-order bonuses, and possibly worst of all: the self created pedestal we put these games upon.
Excitement and anticipation are fine in measure, but one should never expect the world when shown only the premium content that comes from trailers. Trailers always show off the best they have at the time of creating them, it’s the job of a trailer to show you something that will make you want to rush out and buy a product. The content you see is scripted, stripped of bugs, and shown off on the highest possible settings. It’s not guaranteed to be the average user experience, and as a consumer you should never expect it to be. I know many of you who love to get swept up in the cycle will say “well that’s just cynicism,” and you know a healthy dose can really make your life better in an industry where we have the downgrades like Watch_Dogs and the horror that was Aliens: Colonial Marines.
We are treated like cattle, sheared for our wallets and left to freeze when the developer drops the ball. So what gives? Clearly, this system has been going on for years, yet no one seems to care.
Well, I figured that out as well. The last part of this cycle is the apology phase, when Developer X or Publisher Y comes to you cup in hand, looking up at you with its little puppy dog eyes and says sorry, and we as consumers ruffle their hair and say “Alright ya little scamp just make sure not to do it again.”
For a while they keep their bargain and do something customer friendly like free DLC or sales on old games and we start licking the boot in appreciation. Then we get kicked again and wonder where it came from. We just got some sweets from our best friend and we forget what they did just months before.
The simple fact of the matter is this at the end of the day, people will eventually walk away from this attitude and where they go I don’t yet know. The indie scene is going strong and growing each day. Great people are leaving the triple-A space and going to places like Kickstarter and Greenlight. So games aren’t dead, not by a long shot, but the biggest companies are going to start feeling it if they already haven’t soon.
I love games guys and gals, they are such a huge part of my life and I only want to see them be the best they can be. Sometimes that involves telling people to start holding accountable those who screw it over.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”