Finally, someone wrote an article about why video game previews are in a rut right now and feel like PR exercises. It's all so controlled a process, there's barely any subjectivity to be had. Enthusiast press (not journalism) is just creating hype cycles for the developers, previews all have to be positive because it's too early to pass judgement. Mostly highlighted recently by how baffling Bungie's Destiny preview event was:
But the event raised more questions than it answered. Nobody really saw a game. The result: Seas of "previews" littered with careful language like "apparently"; and notations of all the details the company refused to clarify, couldn't, wouldn't, didn't say.
The result was mammoth features from most enthusiast websites packed with quotes like "social and cooperative" (join the club!) "design-controlled" (what isn't!) "shared world" (yes?). "The goal of any advanced technology is to seem effortless," quotes one website.
Wouldn't the developers rather be working on the game than creating specific preview/E3/vertical slice builds?
But is all that cost worthwhile to the publisher as budgets skyrocket and staff cuts are everywhere? Is the lost time worthwhile, for devs who are tasked with frantically cobbling together stable pockets of preview build, pre-rendered trailers, media rehearsal, when they might rather be making their game?
Look at Aliens Colonial Marines, Halo 2, Bioshock Infinite (that's a developer commentary on the making of the E3 demo), and any other E3 scripted gameplay demo that feel more like long trailers. Do these help us, the eventual consumer or feel like disappointments when we find out most of it doesn't look as scripted or awesome when in the actual game?
It enforces our role as glorified community managers for the products we like (the fact so many games writers become community managers speaks to the common closeness in roles).
DING DING DING! (most of 1UP's writers, Jeff Green, etc).
But this is Giant Bomb, I expect the responses to focus on who the writer of this article is, surprised she writes good-to-great articles (ever picked up an EDGE magazine?) despite her behavior on that one E3 podcast.