Before you assume this is about Cyberpunk 2077 and its current situation, you should read the whole piece.
Gamers have the tendency—and the right—to call companies out. When the trailer doesn’t reflect the actual product, the ire will be felt in players’ feedback. In the past, you really didn’t have a voice for critiquing the products you purchased. If you were upset, your only avenue was in a video game magazine. Yes, people could write letters in and speak their piece. Other than that, only your friends, family, or strangers who also played the game could commiserate with you.
Now that social media and streaming play a part in marketing a game today, it’s easier to share your displeasure with a title. We are able to see blogs, videos, Metacritic and user scores (with context), Amazon reviews, and more. Anyone can say what they feel is important and get it out. Companies will also take notice and, in time, respond to the gaming community in a PR statement.
That’s not to say that most anticipated titles have gotten these verbal takedowns, but in this day and age, trailers might not tell you the true story of what you’re getting. At some point, there has to be some definitive gameplay of the title.
Eiji Aonuma showed the first look of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at E3 2014. Highly detailed and colorful, it sparked a lot of excitement; seeing a game of this caliber coming to the Wii U looked like it was going to push systems. As development went, delays came into play for a variety of reasons (one was its coming to the newest platform, Nintendo Switch). At E3 2016, we saw gameplay from the actual game. We learned more news about the game until its release in 2017 in March, and the game exceeded the expectations of a lot of reviewers and gamers.
It wasn’t like this when the GameCube was first revealed and showed a different art style for a Zelda game. When The Wind Waker was first shown, a level of upset was heard throughout the room and some of the community. When the game actually released, that all changed, and the title has become a classic amongst players and fans. Not all anticipated Zelda games have been met with praise. Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, as loved as those games are, didn’t receive the praise like the other titles. One thing for sure is that each game showed you what was going to be in it (or at least provided better context).
In just this year alone, we have seen displeasure across the board from player’s anticipation. The Last of Us Part II, Halo Infinite, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity have received mixed opinions. Though Halo was delayed, if it had been released as planned, there might have still been that resentment from its gameplay reveal if improvements had not been made. The Last of Us Part II received its criticism due to leaks. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was affected by its story (and if you know the Dynasty Warriors gameplay, this isn’t anything new).
It does get to a point where the dissatisfaction becomes tiring, and the problems that plague games are well known. Seeing people hop on the train to trash a title is exhausting. We get it. You disapprove of the game. It becomes worse when the attacks against developers start happening and threats are made.
We know how to hold onto our money if we have concerns, and it’s important to read reviews and take in the pros and cons of a game. There isn’t a rush to purchase games unless you feel you need it. If you have your heart set on it, then go and support it. If not, look for other titles that can excite you and you deem worth the purchase.
As we are in the next cycle for Xbox and PlayStation, games are going to be at another level in production. If you feel that a trailer isn’t telling you much and showing you what you need, don’t allow the game to become an anticipated product until you feel it’s worth it. You can keep with the updates and see how the game is developing. It’s ok to be excited and hyped for a game. Just know that sometimes the wait might be worth it.