Jan 30, 2013

[Stop With the Pointless CGI Trailers, Already]

I am seriously tired of cinematic MMORPG trailers. Sick of them. The recent trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online just summed up all my annoyances with these things:

  Sure, they look really cool, and can thrill the imagination. But they have ZERO bearing on the actual game, and they show nothing of significance about the gameplay (you know, the bit that actually matters?). The more slick and impressive one is the more I think "How much money was wasted on making this rather than being invested in something useful for the game?" Rather than getting me interested, these things are starting to actually turn me off. They seem to be more of an advertisement of how much a game studio's priorities are in the wrong place; how they want flashy imagery to excite people's interest rather than the merits of the game speaking for itself.

  And in the case of TESO, especially, when so little of what we've heard about it is anything significantly concrete about the actual game. When your potential playerbase is already skeptical and more interested in finding out whether or not your game is yet another amalgam of tired MMO cliches in a new skin, showing off a fancy 6 minute cutscene trailer illustrating cool stuff that nobody ingame can actually do, most likely, is not a good idea in my opinion. What does this stuff have to do with what people will actually be able to experience? This looks like it'd be a cool movie but tells me jack about whether its an interesting game.

  Overall, though, MMO studios need to stop with the gimmicky PR garbage and focus on the quality of their product, not the volume of their hype. Because as excitable as many MMO players can be, I think we've reached a critical level of jaded low tolerance for the same old crap in a different box. No amount of fanciful CGI shenanigans is going to save your game if it can't actually deliver. I swear the priorities of AAA MMO studios nowadays are really backwards.


Ettesiun said...

You are speaking as someone who follow MMORPG news and have already played a lot of it.
But for Single players, people who are really casual players, these sort of video drives them to buy the game. They may flee after one month but they will have pay for the game.
It is also a signal for potential customer : we are a big studios that have the money to create these sort of things. We are not poor, and we are confident that our games is the best one.

From an economic point of view, these sort of trailer have a lot of sens !

Pai said...

Yeah, it's true that not everyone is as jaded about MMOs as me. =P

But the AAA MMO industry is in a precarious place right now and it's disappointing when I see a game like TESO remain frustratingly vague about any significant facts about it's gameplay while sending out fancy fluff like this.

Zubon said...

+1. Videos are not high-value for people who care about gameplay, although we were wondering for years when Blizzard was going to make a CGI movie. Their best videos were incorporated in-game as cut scenes, which adds some value back.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Ettesiun. TESO obviously is going to target single player RPG players as well as your typical MMO wander. Videos like this drives sales for single player games. MMOs not as much. Personally, I was like meh when I was watching this video.