I don’t know about you but I’ve had it with teasers containing countdown clocks, distorted images and cryptic press.
The last straw for me was Hideo Kojima’s timer that revealed nothing but a new countdown set to expire on May 30. Why didn’t they just make the first timer countdown expire on May 30? Why not just post something on the website letting the gaming community know that Kojima is set to unveil something new at E3? Wouldn’t that be just as effective?
Sadly it’s not the first instance of companies going down this road trying to build hype for their latest blockbuster. Some have been subtle like Blizzard when they unveiled Diablo III. They used a graphic that evolved over a few weeks to finally reveal the logo for the sequel. Others haven’t quite mastered subtlety like Eidos who released a press release that featured an unannounced title that was described as “a sequel to a popular franchise beginning with T” – anyone with a brain figured out it was Thief 4.
Are these methods effective? Because I don’t see these countdown clocks or hazy images doing anything but pissing off their audience. I’m betting that hits on Kojima’s website have dropped after the unveiling of the new countdown and I don’t think anyone is going to be visiting until May 30 – I wouldn’t be surprised if we report a tumbleweed rolling by the timer. Or maybe they’ll just visit this website to find out what the big secret was. How many of you continually visited the Blizzard website to see if anything had changed since the previous day? I’m guessing it was only the gaming journos who did this to see if they had something to write about that day.
What’s wrong with a simple teaser trailer? If publishers want to go with something original then take note of Infinity Ward’s teaser for Modern Warfare 2. The way they used a simple wave file to create images from the game was unique, original and fantastic. It created a lot of discussion on the internet but all of it was positive. Someone even went to the lengths to post all the individual images from the teaser. The bottom line is that it got everyone excited. Now they’ve just backed it with an awesome trailer.
Take note publishers – there is a right way to hype a game. Abort the countdown.