My article on female antagonists is currently a work in progress. It’s proving to be a bit more difficult than I thought it would be!
As games become increasingly popular, the methods behind creating the hype or buzz around an IP, be it licensed or entirely new, have adapted to meet and attract people from as many walks of life as possible. TV commercials have increased in their frequency, though they are still ridiculously expensive for publishers, and people “follow” games and companies on Twitter to get the latest news. Gamers, hardcore and casual alike, visit video game sites that follow a Blog style like Kotaku or ones similar to GirlGamer.
Now what I am about to propose is seen as an acceptable marketing strategy by some, a dirty move publishers make by others, and completely ridiculous by others. What is it, you ask?
Now while some of these are no doubt legitimate delays, since game development is extremely complicated, difficult to predict and reminiscent of a woman re-planning an entire wardrobe (am I right, ladies? This can take ages and a hole in your favorite slacks can ruin many outfits), I can’t help but think that certain delays are done to increase hype.
In order to understand this, it is important to recognize that many marketers think that “bad press is good press” since anything that brings attention to the game or company increases its exposure, thus leading to an increase in popularity, thus implying a potential growth in future sales (given the bad press is not outright destroying the company’s reputation).
The “quality” reason is often given for development delays, which may be legitimate in most cases. When it comes to the big publishers, however, there is no doubt (at least in my mind) that they were striving to create competition around key times. While popular release times, such as Christmas, may simply be a good deadline for companies, it seems silly, especially as a gamer, and convenient that the “big hits” happen to come out at the same time if they are from different publishers or they are staggered throughout the year.
When a game is delayed, that is one extra piece of news that can be released on all of our beloved gaming websites. It is an extra tweet. It is an extra status update for those games, developers and publishers that find themselves on Facebook. It is press that draws the eye and invites you to look further into the game, find out about it, find out why it is delayed, and make you want it.
What do you think? Am I being unreasonable? Is the increased hype after a delay announcement nonexistent, planned, or perhaps even just a positive side effect?