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The Hype Stuff: How Game Developers Can Learn from Bethesda and Fallout 4

Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor


4) Timing

If you’ve followed any of the AAA launches of the past year, you’ve no doubt seen the effect of early-hype on sales. It seems like a no-brainer: Getting word-of-mouth started early will let the gaming public know what to expect about your upcoming title. The issue really becomes about staying power. Sure, everyone knows The Division is coming out, and if you really follow the industry you probably know a few things about it. But is anyone still excited about a game that has been teased for three years? Does the average person even know what it’s going to be about. 

Halo can get away with the long con, because Halo has been around for more than a decade. It is an established franchise. People are invested in its success. A new IP just can’t stand on its own for such a lengthy development cycle. 

Compare that to the relatively svelte timeline for Fallout 4. Only six months before the due date, Bethesda finally pulled back the curtains on their new baby. This meant that the gaming public only had six month to be excited before the product was in hand. Some might say that only leaves so much time for market saturation, but you have to remember that this is the digital age, the time of the Internet. Six months is an eternity to a culture that expects EVERYTHING INSTANTLY.

Many companies are adopting this new strategy, teasing a product and launching it shortly after. With attention spans at an all time low, it is more important than ever to get your shiny object to the public’s greasy hands as quickly as possible. Apple demonstrated this with the iPhone launch plan, and it seems to be working out pretty well for them, considering they haven’t really changed much for their IP in over ten years. 

But it’s not just about when you start the conversation about your game. It’s also about what you choose to reveal.

Author: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor

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