Okay so the title is kinda vague, let me try and make it a little more clearer.
Some of my favorite video games are meant to create discomfort and ask meaningful questions of the player. Silent Hill 2, Far Cry 2 (debatable), the launch version of No Man's Sky, Spec Ops the Line, the list goes on. By discomfort, I mean create a sense of loneliness, dread, and/or introspection that an interactive medium can provide. It's fairly easy to market a game as being fun. E3 is basically just all fun all the time. But a game like Silent Hill 2, a game that focuses on dread and atmosphere, isn't so easily marketable. Most of these types of games get popular via word of mouth and critic access. But let's pretend you have a marketing budget to work with and you have to make a presentation for E3 for No Man's Sky. A game that revels in it's aimlessness and loneliness and doesn't necessarily want the player to have fun.
Obviously, the folks at Hello Games made the game out to be this big open ended adventure with lots of fun choices on how the player can interact with it and it ended up ruining their reputation. But honestly? I don't envy them the task. I don't think that a game in which the concept of existing in a universe alone in which you do repetitive activities over and over again with a storyline centered around finding meaning and purpose in the mundane is really marketable at all. I'm prepared for the comments saying I'm grasping at straws here and that NMS is an exercise in marketing deception and farce, but humor me here. If the original vision and intent was to create an exercise in finding purpose in a beautiful universe in which you do mundane crafting and survival to get by, how would you go about marketing it? It is purposefully not fun and unappealing.
This thread ended up being about No Man's Sky more than anything, but I think it's a great example of a game designed to be not fun that got a big marketing spotlight that ended up ruining the reputation of its creators so hard that they basically made into the fun game they initially promised. I'll get a lot of comments here saying that the game shouldn't be the way it is designed at all at launch, but that isn't the point of the thread. If you were hired to market the game at something like E3, regardless of how you felt the quality and intent was, what would you do? Being honest and upfront about its intent doesn't make a flashy and interesting show and that's what marketing is in general.
Think it over if you want. :)