The Weekend Chat: Do We Expect Too Much From Game Devs?

 
 

Earlier this week, No Man’s Sky was found not guilty of misleading consumers with the marketing material for their game. The British Advertising Standards Authority found that due to its procedurally generated nature, and its size and scope, that any videos and images were “representative of the type of content [players] would encounter during gameplay, but would not generally expect to see.”

Videogames are creative things, sometimes worked on by teams of hundreds of developers, or sometimes by a single person. They’re rigid systems, built by people with their own beliefs, opinions, and feelings. So this week, we ask you:

Do we expect too much from game developers?

Should developers be releasing trailers as a check-list of features to come? Is this more a fault of AAA marketing? Or should teams be allowed to follow their own creative vision, independent of audience expectation?

Let us know in the comments below!


Thanks for the topic idea, Brian!

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The Weekend Chat is brought to you by ACG Yoobee School of Design.

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Comments Comments (17)

 
Natjur
Posted by Natjur
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:05 PM
5
We just expect what we preorder to be whats in the box. Selling something listing features which are on there (and never will be) just pisses people off and is a cash grab.

Even if the underline game is good, all the lies means most will stay away from it. Also charging AAA prices for an unfinished product....
 
 
 
Natjur
Posted by Natjur
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:09 PM
3
2 December 2016, 04:05 PM Reply to Natjur
We just expect what we preorder to be whats in the box. Selling something listing features which are on there (and never will be) just pisses people off and is a cash grab.

Even if the underline game is good, all the lies means most will stay away from it. Also charging AAA prices for an unfinished product....
No Man’s Sky was found not guilty of misleading consumers is the same as O. J. Simpson being not guilty.
Sure the courts say that, but no one believes it
 
 
 
Posted by Xaphriel
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:23 PM
6
So many of the problems we see are caused by either inappropriate or just plain bad marketing. The NMS debacle is what you get when you market an unfinished indie game as AAA, because then people expect a AAA game, and all that implies. Tons of devs have been thrown under the bus by PR campaigns that just didn't know what the hell they were trying to sell, or how to do it.

Games are art, and the devs should have the freedom to create their own vision without being tied down to the expectations of either public or publisher. From a PR perspective, we need to seriously reevaluate whether or not the current methods for marketing games are really the best way, because let me tell you, the hype train almost never lets you off at the right station.
 
 
 
Posted by cortez72
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:23 PM
4
The expectation only comes from the developer, without knowing what their product is, we can't conceivably have any expectation. If we are expecting too much, it's because they planted the seed.

If a team has a creative vision, they should explain what it is, and not what it isn't. If No Man's Sky was marketed as a space travel game, where you can walk around 18 Quintillion planets looking at plant's and animals while refuelling your ship, they would have achieved there vision. But they said space battles, becoming a trader, warring factions, see other players. They made it sound like Space-Skyrim. But it was actually MineNOcraft.
 
 
 
Posted by Outlaw213
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:30 PM
5
One solution is to stop announcing games so early and promising features that might not even make it. Save the game announcements for when it's at least playable, alpha stage maybe.

These days games get announced but not released for 2-3 years, build up all that hype over the years and then not deliver.
 
 
 
Posted by Xaphriel
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:35 PM
6
2 December 2016, 04:30 PM Reply to Outlaw213
One solution is to stop announcing games so early and promising features that might not even make it. Save the game announcements for when it's at least playable, alpha stage maybe.

These days games get announced but not released for 2-3 years, build up all that hype over the years and then not deliver.
Fallout 4's announcement was like what, six months? That's how to do it.
 
 
 
Posted by drunk_monk
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 4:35 PM
5
"Or should teams be allowed to follow their own creative vision".

100% but they need to be up front and honest. If a feature had to be cut because it was too ambitious or they didn't have the time or its coming, just say it. I might be disappointed but I won't be pissed off when it's not there.
 
 
 
Posted by drunk_monk
On Friday 2 Dec 2016 8:01 PM
3
2 December 2016, 04:35 PM Reply to Xaphriel
Fallout 4's announcement was like what, six months? That's how to do it.
Fallout 4's announcement was exceptional and comes with a top IP by a company with lots of money.

I don't begrudge an indie studio getting their name and product out earlier as they need it for a) feedback b) to build interest in a game and c) get funding.

But if people have the wrong idea about your game correct them. Sure the internet gets overly angry ALOT but giving people a reason to be angry, never a great plan.
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Saturday 3 Dec 2016 6:13 AM
-3
No they promise too much. Todd lies howard. If they stopped promising things that aren't there we wouldn't get over hyped as much.
 
 
 
Posted by koyukon
On Saturday 3 Dec 2016 7:21 AM
-
Depends on the game and company? I generally expect a sequel to use the prior game as a baseline to beat. As for marketing.... Showing a polished game and then watering down the graphics and content before release? Big no to that.
 
 
 
Posted by guido
On Saturday 3 Dec 2016 9:50 AM
2
No man's sky was marketed using their feature wish list and sold before it was finished without communicating as much to those that pre-ordered. What they have achieved is awesome for such a small team, especially after the Foundation patch but they've never been up front. Almost anything can be forgiven with honest communication. Radio silence followed by denial is never a good strategy.
 
 
 
Posted by Paorio
On Saturday 3 Dec 2016 12:55 PM
1
3 December 2016, 06:13 AM Reply to ThatUndeadLegacy
No they promise too much. Todd lies howard. If they stopped promising things that aren't there we wouldn't get over hyped as much.
What was the point of the "Todd lies howard" part?
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Saturday 3 Dec 2016 7:35 PM
-1
3 December 2016, 12:55 PM Reply to Paorio
What was the point of the "Todd lies howard" part?
200 endings fallout lol. there are mods about all his lies.
 
 
 
Posted by Nibblo
On Sunday 4 Dec 2016 12:17 PM
1
There is a difference between consumer built hype and out right deception. Sean Murray was on record saying things that were never in the game, I mean he would have made Peter Molyneux blush.
Expectations outside of false marketing/advertising though should be kept in check, with everything not just video games, it's common sense.
 
 
 
Posted by polarbear
On Sunday 4 Dec 2016 11:02 PM
3
No way do we expect too much. Regardless of the NMS outcome, it's still absolute BS. The average gamer was definitely misled. We just expect to have a product that works in the ways we were told it would. Theres a lot of crappy marketing these days building hype etc. We've seen some good examples of how it should be done and other devs can take a leaf out of their book.
 
 
 
Posted by Coddfish
On Monday 5 Dec 2016 8:02 AM
-
Yes, we expect too much. It feels like people expect to know every little detail about what is our isn't in a game before it comes out, which is kind of ridiculous. Imagine demanding a full plot summary of a film before it comes out?

Say what you will about devs "lying" about their games, but they're kind of backed into a corner when folks are demanding to know every little thing when the game's still in early development.
 
 
 
Posted by CloudAxel16
On Tuesday 6 Dec 2016 4:13 PM
2
I think we do. If a game doesn't meet our expectations, we usually hear words such as lazy developers or even greedy. I don't we realise how much work goes into it and how expensive some games can be to make.