Disappointment only outcome of overhyping games

Jack Stornello, Copy Editor

For years, the issue of overhyping upcoming games has plagued the gaming community. It’s a problem that’s not only the fault of gamers themselves, but of developers as well. This is a frequently occurring predicament, and never has it been so prevalent as it is now, what with the recent release of a certain game by the name of “No Man’s Sky.

Now, let me preface this by admitting that I was indeed one of the many who outright had this game placed on a lofty pedestal months before its launch. From the game’s announcement all the way to its release, every trailer, detail, and bits of footage looked and sounded excellent. Everything the developer Hello Games said about “No Man’s Skyseemed amazing and somewhat groundbreaking. I mean, how could anyone deny how awesome an infinite, explorable galaxy sounded? One where you could just hop in your spaceship and fly right into space without a loading screen or barrier in between? Not to mention freakin’ space battles. Given all this information, it’s no wonder us gamers had this image in our heads of this game being the greatest thing in the history of things. We had this mental picture of Hello Games as the gaming world’s messiah, a holy entity that would descend from the heavens to bestow upon us lowly mortals the greatest gaming experience of our entire lives.

Of course, everything hinged on the developers actually delivering on the promises they made. Clearly, if you’ve seen any of the headlines and backlash following the game’s release, you’d know that they really hadn’t. What gamers got instead was essentially “Minecraft” in space. An extremely calm, laid-back, rather dull version of “Minecraft,” where 85% of your time will be spent discovering mildly amusing looking plant life that you get to name. Exciting, right? At least in “Minecraft” you could build semi-cool looking stuff. Also, about 90% of gamers got sick and tired of “Minecraft” about three or four years ago. There’s a reason most notable YouTubers are uploading little to no “Minecraft” content nowadays.

Now, before this whole thing veers off course into a ten page rant on “No Man’s Sky”, let’s get down to the real heart of the issue here. Basically, nothing good ever comes from hyping up games to a far higher degree than the finished product could ever justify. This happens so frequently that at a certain point you’d think people would learn. Probably the second most recent example of this idiocy was last year’s release of “Fallout 4”. Sure, the game wasn’t bad in any sense of the word, but eager gamers worldwide expected the game to be as good, or even better than, the holy grail that was its predecessor, “Fallout 3”. And when it launched, fans everywhere found themselves underwhelmed by a game that wasn’t poor, but merely inadequate when compared to the near unattainable image in their heads of what they had anticipated.

Continually, the fault does not lie solely with gamers (as much as I may have suggested it thus far), but with game developers as well. Now, developers have every right to market their games and get gamers excited to play them and all that. I’m not saying they shouldn’t advertise their games and hype them up. That’s 100% necessary. What I would suggest is that they should really present gamers with the actual facts and details about their games.

In the case of “No Man’s Sky”, the developers may not have exactly lied, per se, but they did essentially deceive gamers about at least one aspect of their game: multiplayer. The developers advertised that while randomly encountering another player in-game was nearly impossible, it was possible to meet up with someone. Two Twitch (a live-streaming website) streamers attempted this. They had specific coordinates to fly to, they went to the same planet, and they searched for each other for a ridiculous amount of time. Not surprisingly, the two never found each other, even when on the same planet. To be fair, the developers never explicitly advertised their game as multiplayer, but they did say that the possibility of meet-ups was there (just very low). In turn, these statements resulted in increased hype for the game that was not really warranted.

In essence, both gamers and game developers have to learn at some point, preferably sooner rather than later. On the gamers end, overhyping games only ever results in disappointment and dejection when the finished product doesn’t meet their astronomical expectations.

Developers, on the other end, face the consequences of both lost money when gamers find out what the real game is like (not the pretty picture that was peddled for months), and a diminished fanbase due to their deception. In order to avoid these repercussions in the future, both sides are going to have to wisen up and remember what happened last time before they start the cycle of stupidity once again. One day, they’re going to have to learn from their mistakes. In other words, they’re going to have to (pardon my French) wake the hell up.