The Dishonored PR machine and the fear of hype

#1 Posted by DjDonFrancisco (285 posts) -

I want to start by saying that i'm incredibly excited for Dishonored.

But is anyone else getting this feeling of PR over-saturation? I mean, every week we're seeing a new video posted, hyping the game up. Personally after the first wave of videos i go from feelings of excitement to "Shut up and give me the game already", but all i get is another video telling me what I can expect from the game. Which leads me to the fear of hype. Games get hyped up all of the time, so this is nothing new. But they are usually released to one of three outcomes: Bombing and spiraling into nothing but a bargain bin, falling short of expectations or reaching the acclaim and greatness that we were all hoping for in the first place. Of course I don't expect these sales tactics to end any time soon. Studios can't risk people forgetting about their new IP and letting it slip under the radar, so they'll continue to pump trailers into our veins until we just say "Here, take my money." a month in advance. I guess I can't complain though, i stopped watching the new videos a while ago.

Basically this whole thing is me just hoping that the game turns out to be as awesome as it looks. I honestly want nothing but the best for Dishonored. Guess we'll see in three weeks.

#2 Posted by minotaka (320 posts) -

I hope it is as good as it looks. The major problem I find when getting excited for a new game is that I over watch videos and info. They do need to pump out as much advertising as possible so to hook in as many as possible, but when you're part of gaming communities and websites, I agree it can feel a bit of a hype-mega-x train pulling into station. Tbh the game looks solid and a whole lot of fun! Surely it's a good thing if they are showing you lots and lots of gameplay so you can actually see what works, and not just showing you CGI... then you know its bargain bin material lol.

GET HYPE, SON!

#3 Posted by Nightriff (4344 posts) -

I'm super excited for this game and to avoid ruining it for me, I have avoided as much as I can. Too often do ads and such get me too excited to play a game and then I'm disappointed with the actual product *cough* ME3 *cough* DA2 *cough* Halo 3, ODST, Reach *cough* Rage *cough* ....

This is really the one of a few games I am getting this season (money is tight, that is what happens when you get married) so I really hope it is a fantastic game. Steampunk Deus Ex, how can you go wrong?

#4 Posted by Humanity (7948 posts) -

I think it's a mix of pride of their work and fear from marketing that this is a completely new IP that heavily relies on stealth game and oh God we better push the shit out of the marketing department or no one will buy this. I'm also completely stoked and can't wait to play it, because I love open ended stealth games where I can stalk my prey in a multitude of ways. That said they are pumping out way too much press material to the point of oversaturating the delicate balance of keeping people hooked and feeling like you've seen the entire game before you even played it. At this point I'm telling myself I should stop watching these videos because I'm going to just ruin something for myself, but I can't cause I just want to eat up any dirty Dishonored table crumb they throw at me. Hopefully this was the final PR push with the video diaries, I wouldn't mind another really well edited and stylized trailer like the original they put out with that catchy tune - but anything else is just going to be major overkill especially now that they've shown 4 videos of doods saying what an amazing piece of art they've made.

#5 Posted by fetchfox (1158 posts) -

It's an original title (not a known name in a series or anything like that). I guess they feel the need to keep pushing it until release. It's quite common, and vey annoying... I've avoided new trailers and videos for quite some time now.

#6 Edited by Doctorchimp (4063 posts) -

I like what the guy is laying down and the history of who's behind the game.

But also they've only shown me gameplay footage...so I think I'm pretty safe in saying I want this game. The marketing push is there because they know people like Bioshock and this is totally in that genre.

#7 Posted by Capt_Ventris (586 posts) -

@Nightriff: You seem to have a cough. May I suggest a mint?

#8 Posted by Rowr (5236 posts) -

I'm definitely seeing what you mean. I've noticed a very deliberate push with the PR on this game from the start, in many ways it's felt like the game has been some how engineered for hype. I don't trust that. For whatever reason i watched like one trailer months ago and have purposely made a point of not clicking on anything else related to it.

I really have no established expectation of this game at this point and i'm enjoying that. If it comes out and it's great i'm probably going to enjoy it more for seeing nothing of it. If it sucks, well i haven't really lost anything.

#9 Edited by DjDonFrancisco (285 posts) -

I'm glad i'm not the only one who runs (or at least tries to) in the other direction when another video is released. I do agree with about seeing another stylized trailer. I wouldn't mind that too much, I guess it's just the "Hey look at what we made" dev diaries that get to me. As much as I want to consume their product, they don't have to keep selling me on it and like @Nightriff, I too don't have tons of money to blow on games these days so only a few things will be getting my precious $60. The others will have to come down in price first.

#10 Posted by ViciousReiven (793 posts) -

I guess it just depends on how you manage your expectations, for me I never usually have bad experiences with hype as I've learned to understand the industry and how games are made and contrast what it takes to put into a game alongside what you see in trailers and other videos in order to have a realistic approximation of the final product. 
If you don't expect the world from it, and you realize it's still a videogame made on the principles of gaming and the limitations that brings then you should have the ability to tell if the hype is deserved or if it's a bunch of crap. 
  
In fact it just makes the PR better, being able to have hype while knowing that something will be as good as it seems, because to you what it appears to be isn't some mystical ultimate thing, but a game that you know you'll enjoy playing regardless of what anyone else has to say about it, that's how I look forward to games.

#11 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4905 posts) -

At least we have the option not to watch the videos.

#12 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

I find it the exact same as seeing a car commercial. I don't suddenly expect myself to be driving with three attractive, diverse friends, laughing over how awesome my car is, driving through a city where apparently no one else lives.

Do you look at food commercials and say "Whatever just give me the burger already!"

#13 Posted by DjDonFrancisco (285 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Well no, because it's a matter of interest. I don't look at car commercials and think of wanting that car because i'm not in the market for a new cars. That commercial is just another thing on tv to me. Same goes for fast food commercials. Now relate the same thing to movies and we'll have a different story. If i'm interested in a movie and i haven't gotten to see it, but i'm subjected to commercials constantly, i'll usually be running for the hills. Or changing the channel. It's marketing and it is serving it's purpose. You aren't going to see me complaining about seeing Assassin's Creed 3's marketing because i'm not interested in it. They are using the same tactics of marketing and hype, the only difference is that they already know that the game will sell like gangbusters.

I don't have a "problem" with PR marketing tactics as a whole. I understand the business and know that expectations are exactly what you make of them. They are doing their job as far as I can see. Dodging trailers is mainly a thing of personal preference.

#14 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3595 posts) -

@pornstorestiffi said:

At least we have the option not to watch the videos.

Exactly

Don't let PR dictate how you feel about something.

I'm very excited and have been on media blackout for a few months now. Still very hyped.

#15 Posted by falling_fast (2144 posts) -

I've not watched any of the stuff they've put out. I'm just going to wait for the quick look and the rockpapershotgun wot I think, and decide based on those.

#16 Edited by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads said:

@pornstorestiffi said:

At least we have the option not to watch the videos.

Exactly

Don't let PR dictate how you feel about something.

I'm very excited and have been on media blackout for a few months now. Still very hyped.

That's not the point.

The point is, regardless of whether you watch the videos or not, history has shown us that games that get a lot of coverage end up being pretty lackluster for whatever reason and ultimately fail. That's what I and a lot of other people are worried about with Dishonored. It's getting so much press and videos (like Dante's Inferno did) that a little voice in the back of our head says "Hey, this is probably not going to be as good as everyone is making it sound."

Edit: In order to avoid kneejerk reaction replies to this, please know that I have retracted this statement, thank you.

#17 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Hype is the most destructive aspect of the gaming hobby in my humble opinion. Nothing has made me waste more money, time or peace of mind than the ridiculous hype over many games.

Let me give you a piece of advice: Unless there's something about an upcoming game that you're familiar with, like it being a sequel to one of your all-time favorite games, or it being made by your favorite studio/games personality, there's no need for (possibly) false hype. Just wait and see whether the game is worth the attention or not after it's out.

Since L.A. Noire I learned to never pre-order a game. Never again!

#18 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4905 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

@pornstorestiffi said:

At least we have the option not to watch the videos.

Exactly

Don't let PR dictate how you feel about something.

I'm very excited and have been on media blackout for a few months now. Still very hyped.

That's not the point.

The point is, regardless of whether you watch the videos or not, history has shown us that games that get a lot of coverage end up being pretty lackluster for whatever reason and ultimately fail. That's what I and a lot of other people are worried about with Dishonored. It's getting so much press and videos (like Dante's Inferno did) that a little voice in the back of our head says "Hey, this is probably not going to be as good as everyone is making it sound."

Thats not true at all. Dead Space had a big PR push too and did very well. There are countless of other games that had major PR campaigns that have done well. So just because a publisher throws a lot of money into PR doesn't mean the game will tank. And even if Dantes Inferno had no PR push it would still have been a mediocre game. If people buy into the PR campaigns its their own fault. And not the publishers or the developers. They made a product and they want to sell it.

#19 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1295 posts) -

It might be a lot of marketing content to digest, but it is nowhere as corrosive as Ubisoft and their games like ACIII.

#20 Posted by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -

@pornstorestiffi: The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less. Look at all the games that had huge publicity: Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age II, Halo 3:ODST, Rage, Dante's Inferno, I could really get into it and go on, but what it boils down to is this: Very rarely will a game so widely publicized live up to the hype it's created. With all of this Dishonored video business, (again, regardless of whether you watch the videos or not, you will see and hear people talking about it, you will be affected by the hype), it's very reasonable to fear for its future. After so long and so many positive things shown and said about it, there's this air of "this game is the next big thing." If it isn't, people won't be happy.

Is it people's fault for falling into the hype? Yes, of course it is, but part of the blame lies on the developers for saturating the market. Some days, a new video about Dishonored is the only interesting thing that happened in the day.

Even if you choose not to watch the videos anymore, at some point, we've all seen a Dishonored video, and we've formed an opinion on it. That opinion (if it's good) is just going to fall into the self-confirmation bias hole while you see and hear everyone saying how great it's going to be, and you'll be affected by this, there's no getting around it. Eventually, you will be a part of the hype, and you might end up having bigger expectations than the game can provide, leading to disappointment.

And that's why all of this press surrounding it is worrisome.

#21 Edited by megalowho (935 posts) -

Dishonored is Bethesda's biggest release this year, along with Skyrim DLC. Giving the game a decent marketing push doesn't bother me, especially since it seems like a different publisher with a different release lineup might just as easily have sent this hard to market, original IP off to quietly die. At least someone at Bethesda cares about it's success and they're trying to maximize it's sales potential.

Fearing that they're building unreasonable hype by releasing too much and sounding like salesmen is a non-issue for me - I personally haven't watched much on the game since E3, as I'm already sold based on the concepts, demo and pedigree of the development team. Working yourself up into a pre-release frenzy over PR material is an easy way to end up disappointed no matter how a game turns out.

#22 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3595 posts) -

@pornstorestiffi said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

@pornstorestiffi said:

At least we have the option not to watch the videos.

Exactly

Don't let PR dictate how you feel about something.

I'm very excited and have been on media blackout for a few months now. Still very hyped.

That's not the point.

The point is, regardless of whether you watch the videos or not, history has shown us that games that get a lot of coverage end up being pretty lackluster for whatever reason and ultimately fail. That's what I and a lot of other people are worried about with Dishonored. It's getting so much press and videos (like Dante's Inferno did) that a little voice in the back of our head says "Hey, this is probably not going to be as good as everyone is making it sound."

Thats not true at all. Dead Space had a big PR push too and did very well. There are countless of other games that had major PR campaigns that have done well. So just because a publisher throws a lot of money into PR doesn't mean the game will tank. And even if Dantes Inferno had no PR push it would still have been a mediocre game. If people buy into the PR campaigns its their own fault. And not the publishers or the developers. They made a product and they want to sell it.

Yeah you are way off base here Likeassur. When is this the case? Sure it has happened sometimes but it has not happened plenty of times too. I think you also have to consider in Dishonered's case that it is a new IP. You need to get the name out there. Probably the most marketed game I've seen right now is Assassin's Creed III, and I'm very confident in that game's quality.

#23 Posted by thomasnash (404 posts) -

I suppose Bethesda as a publisher needs a hit, which goes some way to explaining the hype drive. Hopefully it just means they have more faith in this that they did Rogue Warrior...

#24 Edited by BBQBram (2165 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@pornstorestiffi: The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less. Look at all the games that had huge publicity: Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age II, Halo 3:ODST, Rage, Dante's Inferno, I could really get into it and go on

Go on. Name every game which ever tried to generate a little hype, just make sure not to name any of the ones which turned out to be good otherwise your whole thesis falls apart.

Exactly, that argument makes no sense at all. There's been plenty of games where the marketing was compensating for the quality sure, but with every big game getting these PR treatments there's been just as many that did live up to the hype.

#25 Edited by falserelic (4944 posts) -

I've pre-ordered Dishonored on PSN. Can't wait to play this game when its released. As for the hype there's always going to be people that will be disappointed. Developers can't please everybody.

#26 Edited by seannao (223 posts) -

I'm trying to bank the success of the game on the presence of some of its Deus Ex devs!

Sort of like when you have a favorite director who has a track record. Also, the old news that they've implied that some of their "bugs" like the teleport/travel "bug" being included and the game shaped around an accidentally-discovered use for that semi-exploitve mechanic was heartening.

To me, even with all the hype and while the story might fall flat, I'm confident that the game will be something that the devs of a Deus Ex game think is fun/creative...and yeah I've had it preordered up.

#27 Posted by Jace (1092 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less.

#28 Posted by believer258 (11043 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

I like what the guy is laying down and the history of who's behind the game.

But also they've only shown me gameplay footage...so I think I'm pretty safe in saying I want this game. The marketing push is there because they know people like Bioshock and this is totally in that genre.

How do you figure? They're both pretty atmospheric but Bioshock most definitely has a larger focus on frantically killing dudes while Dishonored seems a whole lot more focused on making your own way through things in your own way with a variety of tools at your disposal. I don't think the comparison is very good, that's all, though there are definitely some things from Bioshock that this takes hints of, plasmids in particular.

I haven't watched a ton of the videos. What I've seen does have me excited but I want to see what people have to say about the game first. I don't plan on getting it too far away from launch, though, a week or two at most.

#29 Posted by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -

@Jace said:

Thanks for letting me know!

@rebgav said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@pornstorestiffi: The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less. Look at all the games that had huge publicity: Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age II, Halo 3:ODST, Rage, Dante's Inferno, I could really get into it and go on

Go on. Name every game which ever tried to generate a little hype, just make sure not to name any of the ones which turned out to be good otherwise your whole thesis falls apart.

There was never a point where I said "Hype = bad game."

#30 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

@Jace said:

Thanks for letting me know!

@rebgav said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@pornstorestiffi: The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less. Look at all the games that had huge publicity: Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age II, Halo 3:ODST, Rage, Dante's Inferno, I could really get into it and go on

Go on. Name every game which ever tried to generate a little hype, just make sure not to name any of the ones which turned out to be good otherwise your whole thesis falls apart.

There was never a point where I said "Hype = bad game."

you didn't actually say anything. it was drivel

#31 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2071 posts) -

I've been watching none of the stuff related to Dishonored because all I needed was those two videos showing an action and a stealth approach to a level. I don't need to spoil anything else related to the game so I'm not going to get burned out about the game before I even play it. I've done that enough with other games

#32 Posted by Miketakon (512 posts) -

I'd rather have more than less. Too many good games have gone unkown this gen.

#33 Edited by Jace (1092 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

"The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less. "

"There was never a point where I said "Hype = bad game."

Wat.

LikeaSsur, you'd make a good politician. You're flip floppin like a fish out of water.

#34 Posted by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -

@rebgav said:

As is clearly evident in the quote, you outlined an inverse correlation between the amount of publicity that a game receives and the potential quality of the product. Hype is defined as excessive publicity. Following your logic, hype must be an indicator of "greater chances it being mediocre or less."

You also said that "history has shown us that games that get a lot of coverage end up being pretty lackluster for whatever reason and ultimately fail."

I think that it's fair to say that "hype = bad game" is the crux of your argument. I don't blame you for abandoning that stance though, as it's obviously bullshit.

Alright, apparently I was wrong. I apologize. The games I listed weren't enough to hold my own opinion, so I retract my statement. A bad game makes a bad game, not the advertising that surrounds it.

#35 Posted by FauxNinja (59 posts) -

@Jace said:

@LikeaSsur said:

The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less.

This is what I thought too. What an idiot.

#36 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (998 posts) -

They need to do what they can to build the brand. If there is one thing that gamers hate, it is something new. For all the bitching and moaning about "Everything's a sequel!" time and time again that is what sells. Established franchises are safe purchases. New names are scary purchases.

#37 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4282 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@pornstorestiffi: The law of probability says that the more a game is publicized, the greater chances it being mediocre or less. Look at all the games that had huge publicity: Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age II, Halo 3:ODST, Rage, Dante's Inferno, I could really get into it and go on

Go on. Name every game which ever tried to generate a little hype, just make sure not to name any of the ones which turned out to be good otherwise your whole thesis falls apart.

Failed at the jump. Mass Effect 3 was a great game, ending not withstanding.

#38 Edited by bybeach (4602 posts) -

Target audience. To even get going they have to get the based-gamer in. Hopefully others will hear of it and follow. How many video games that you hear of that are great but sales are mediocre? A good number. By what I have seen, I do suspect a ton of good thought/work and art has been put into the game and it's world. Sadly trying to present a high form product that is the anti-thesis of say the latest COD/MW doesn't always make the money it needed to even float.

Or it could be Jive. I've forgiven Randy Pitchford though, Borderlands 2 is very good...these guys only have Dishonored though and I think some histories......

#39 Posted by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -

@FauxNinja: @Oldirtybearon: Might want to read the newest post from me, thanks.

#40 Posted by s10129107 (1164 posts) -

I've already heard people and ACTUAL GAME JOURNALISTS say that its great before playing it. Clearly they're dumping tons of money into advertisement. It looks good but i'll wait until i can actually see it in motion. Quick looks don't lie.

#41 Posted by Demoskinos (13853 posts) -

I really don't see it with disonhored. Looks like a lot of overblown hype due to Bethesda's marketing muscle.

#42 Posted by DeShawn2ks (1043 posts) -

If I don't end up liking RE6 or Dishonored I am going to start breaking some shit. Hitman is still a coin toss for me and I can't see AC3 letting me down. But man how much of a bummer it would be if I didn't end up caring for none of these games.

#43 Edited by DeShawn2ks (1043 posts) -

@DrDarkStryfe: Hell not me I love some new shit. Usually if I am hyped for a game and most people end up not liking it I still enjoy it. There has only been one case where this has failed me and that was Brink. My fault though because I should have known something was up when I couldn't find one damn review out there when heading to the midnight release. I love sequels and love giving new franchises a chance. Well unless that sequel is doing the same damn formula over and over again.

#44 Posted by Jace (1092 posts) -

@LikeaSsur: You're actually the first person on Giantbomb I've ever seen own up and admit they had to rethink their OP. I commend you for that.

#45 Posted by DjDonFrancisco (285 posts) -

Alright guys, settle down. It looks like the quick look will be going up at 12:01 AM Monday morning (Which must mean it's important right? RIGHT??). Guess we'll all see how this thing turns out soon.

#46 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4479 posts) -

Bethesda non Elder Scrolls/Elder Scrolls clone (Fallout 3) property: Rogue Warrior, Brink, Wet, Rage, Hunted: The Demon's Forge

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.