Anyone who's been playing games for a while knows that sometimes, there's a new game that's gonna come out and even before it's in the Alpha stage, the game is getting so much coverage, it's virtually impossible to ignore the impact of the game. It might be years away from completion but there's still people looking out for it every passing day.
I remember when they announced Duke Nukem Forever back in the late 90s, and so many people would vouch for it, it was ridiculous. Now, a decade later, people are much more lukewarm about the game to say the least simply because the hype hasn't really lived up to the facts.
My question then is to people, is Hype something to really focus on, or should people wait until everything is complete. For another example, I remember Starcraft Ghost is going to be so good and they even let people play some of it at the Blizzcon years ago but now it's scrapped. Obviously all the hype didn't help that game because it's done. What about Starcraft 2? It's basically impossible to ignore that game and people are swearing that it's going to be so good and the best game ever made simply because the first Starcraft was and is, monumental in so many ways.
For Starcraft, we've seen how good the game is. There are progamers who live off playing it and battle.net is still filled with thousands of hungry players playing games. Can Starcraft actually match this? The bar for that game, can it even be attained? I mean, it's so high, it's probably impossible to really get it. Starcraft has been successful for a decade. How many games have been able to do that? Can you imagine playing Starcraft 2 until 2020? Really?
For the near future, most eyes are glowing with glee over Fallout 3. This is just another example where the Hype, might not be able to be justified. The bar once again, is set very high. If Fallout 3 can meet those expectations, don't be surprised if it's declared Game of the Year immediately. But if it can't, what does it mean? Does it mean it's a failure? Does it mean that the hype was worthless or misguided?
Let's say that Fallout 3 turns out to be a pretty good game. Not an unbelievable game that everyone should play and have hordes of fans swearing by it, but just a pretty good game. How will that affect the sales the reception it gets a week after it releases? Will the sales go down a lot or will the initial hype have it sell so many copies in the first few weeks, even if it's not a blockbuster game, it will have blockbuster sales? What if it's a downright poor game? Will the game sell more copies than it deserves or will the negatives reviews stymie their chance of making Bethesda more money?
To be honest, I'm not sure how hype affects the perception of the game and the sale of the said game. I think it would be rather naive and basically impossible to pretend that hype doesn't affect people's decisions on buying a game or liking the game more or less. If we set the bar too high, we can unjustly and unfairly give a game a worse reputation than it deserves because we are comparing it to the hype. Conversely, a game with no hype can be declared a hidden gem but if it was under the Final Fantasy name or something huge in the gaming industry, it might have only been average.
I'd like to take a more balanced approach. Yes, I am looking forward to Fallout 3 but I'm going to play it first and see how it is. If it's fun, I'm gonna play it a lot. If it's not, I won't play it. Hype in the end is only hype and it's hard to know whether or not it's a good thing. Hopefully, people can see that and just enjoy a game for what it is, not what it was supposed to be or not.