With the impending release of Valve's latest game -- Left 4 Dead, an idea crawled into my head. This is the idea of hyping games based on their developers. Everybody has one of those friends who don't get excited for the content that is in the game, but instead who is developing the game. First off, this is not a post about bashing Left 4 Dead or Valve. As a matter of fact -- I think Valve is a great developer. However, I'm interested at all for Left 4 Dead. I'm not here to blast Valve or Left 4 Dead. TF2, Portal, and the Half-Life 2 games are some of my favorite games to play, but Left 4 Dead isn't my cup of tea. However, this is NOT the point of this post.
Valve Corporation (or simply Valve for short), is known for their aesthetically pleasing looking and great first-person shooters. Powered by the Source Engine, they continue to prove that the Source Engine can still compete with the new engines of today. Their upcoming release, Left 4 Dead, is shaping up to follow down this path. However my problem is not Left 4 Dead itself -- but people who hype this game because of the developers behind it. In my opinion, it is OK to get excited for a game based on its content. It is OK to like a game for its content and be even more happy because it is by one of your favorite developers. What I don't think is okay is if you hype a game solely on its developers. Yes, Valve can be argued as the best developer in the gaming market, but this doesn't mean every game they will develop will be a smashing success. On the contrary, almost every game they have released has had universal acclaim. You see, I have a friend who is excited for Left 4 Dead. He constantly talks about how it is made by Valve and even persuades me to get excited for it as well. However he never mentions the content in the game (aside from the obvious -- zombies). Asking for further elaboration on his reasons for getting excited for Left 4 Dead, he came up with nothing.
This is when the idea of hyping games because of the developers solely crawled inside my head. Do you think it is okay to do this? I don't -- at all. There is always that possibility that you will either end up disliking the game or that the game will end up being a bust. Even though it is from the great developers of Valve. However, I do have to give Valve the thumbs up on creating success from game to game, because this works in their advantage. Whether or not Left 4 Dead becomes universally loved, whether or not Left 4 Dead sells well based on its content, it will sell because it is by Valve. Yes, it is going to. Valve consistently releases games that deliver on what they promise, so it shouldn't be a surprise when you find out the latest game by Valve is a first-person shooter. Think about the people who are only fans of the developers of Valve, and for instance, both TF2 and Portal. They are not fans of the HL2 games and dislike zombies in general. Heading into one of their gaming stores they notice an upcoming game being developed by Valve -- entitled Left 4 Dead. Again, they don't like zombie games, but they love Valve. Since they like Valve, the store and Valve will sell another copy of a game that the consumer might not end up liking. Don't get me wrong -- Left 4 Dead will probably end up being a great game by most, but I assure you there are people out there that don't care about the content of the game. But rather, the fact it is developed by Valve. Did you see people hyping Epic's Unreal Tournament 3, just because it was by Epic Games? What happened with that? Majority of the gamers disliked the game. Did you see people hyping Gears of War 2 because it was made by Epic Games? Probably not, but I'm sure the original Gears of War had an influence in it. That and chainsaws -- which is a ridiculous drawing point.
This brings me to the company that trumps Valve in the hype department -- Bungie Studios. Bungie's biggest game(s) is the Halo Franchise -- but are also known for the Marathon and Myth series. I'm not here to talk about Marathon and Myth, I'm here to talk about the trilogy that is Halo. The Halo series has had ridiclous acclaim, and also ridiculous accustations that pertain to bring back the FPS genre. Whether or not these awards and claims are deserving, I'm not here to discuss that either. I'm here to talk about the hype surrounding the Halo games. After the original Halo, it was safe to say Halo 2 had a good amount of hype around it. By the time Halo 2 was released, it was praised for advanced multiplayer (at that time), and is a game that people still play to today. When the rumors of Halo 3 were discussed, the hype-train began to load up all of its fans. Were most of these "fans" for the game or for Bungie? Do these "fans" honestly care if every new Halo game is actually different in any way, or as long as Bungie is making it? Contemplate these ideas, because the Halo franchise has also recieved alot of discussion about being overrated. We all know Halo 3 had massive hype around it, and when it came to the reviewer's hands it acquired critical accliam. Was this the acclaim of the people, though? With the impending release of Halo Wars, and Halo 3: Recon, is enough enough? You can definitely believe Halo Wars and Halo 3: Recon will sell just because of the Halo name, and H3: Recon will sell because it goes back to the FPS roots. While Bungie is not working on Halo Wars, you better believe it is going to sell.
The question of this rant is simply: should you hype games based on their developer? Do YOU hype games based on their developer, solely? Do you know anybody like this? Are you one of the logical and free type of person that gets excited for games based on their content? Time for you to decide.