Are Video Games Being Announced Too Early?

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Do you guys remember Quantum Break? No, well that’s because we still haven’t seen it despite it being announced in the summer of 2013 at E3. We are now aware of the 2016 launch target for the game, but is this something that gamers should be worrying about? It is a trend that is slowly increasing in frequency, but is it necessarily bad for the industry? Let’s take a look.

We’ll start by talking about the hype bell-curve. What I mean by this, is how gamers slowly get hyped about a game announcement with rumours circling. Then, the curve reaches it’s peak at the games announcement, where everyone is talking about what the next instalment in the series will involve and we get excited about it. Then as months and more recently years go by, the peak of the hype curve slowly decreases as people become less and less excited and people grow tired of waiting for release dates and more information.

There is also an effect on how people perceive games when they launch after a big delay or a long time since the reveal. Phrases like “is this all we were waiting for?” and “is that it?” are thrown around even though the game might be pretty good. We saw this happen recently with GTA V online heists. While the content was solid and was really fun, it seemed to be too little, too late for Rockstar as people were more interested in other games and had pretty much finished their journey with this Grand Theft Auto for now.

It’s bad enough for the developer needing more time when the publisher is adamant in putting the game out as soon as possible, to generate as much buzz and hype for the game, then comes the internet hate. The internet is a very powerful tool in expressing emotion anonymously, especially disappointment and impatience, which often turns into nasty messages and cursing people out. The thing is, it’s usually not the developers fault. If we look at a game like Skyrim for instance, Bethesda and Zenimax announced the game about a year before it’s eventual launch in 2011. What would have happened if they had been really happy with how it looked and decided to announce it in 2008, with just a short cutscene, and then nothing for 3 whole years? The game definitely would not have done as well as it did, eventually becoming an award winning product, as well as the most successful Elder Scrolls. In short, what it comes down to a lot of the time is the publishers forcing the developers hand in trying to announce something as soon as possible, even though it might eventually effect sales negatively.

If this trend continues, gamers aren’t going to know who to trust about upcoming games, wondering if they will even be interested in a new game when that game finally comes out. Gamers losing confidence in the publishers and developers leads to people not buying as many games. I know if you read my articles you will get this impression from me quite a lot, but this could be one of the many factors that leads to people buying less games and it not being financially viable for a lot of developers to make the bigger adventurous games they really want to make. It means that developers will either make smaller, potentially less interesting games, or they will continue to ramp up the use of micro transactions and other shady business practices to make up lost revenue. Either way, bad for the consumers, bad for the company and bad, ultimately, for the industry.

It’s a simple thing, yet publishers just can’t seem to keep anything that might make them money under their hats. What they don’t seem to realise is that hyping a game up prematurely will in fact hurt sales of the game and the outlook by consumers later on down the road. It needs to stop, before we start seeing games announced now, due to come out in 2020.

Hope you found this article interesting! I’m interested in whether you guys think I’m right about this. Are you less likely to buy a game that is announced to come out years later? How quickly do you lose interest in games after they are announced? Leave us your comments in the box below.

George Seymour
  • Dennis Crosby

    A couple thing quantum break had a 10-15 minute gameplay release at games on last year and I think you should of mentioned Duke Nukem forever and The Last Guardian because those are two gameplay that were announced many many years before they were ready heck the last guardian still isn’t ready but other then that you made some good points and people should start being concerned when a game gets delayed multiple times

  • NL37

    Nice point, id like to hear a developers explanation, even if anonymously