Turn Down The Hype Machine! - The Point

With a whole bunch of great games coming in 2016, Danny takes a look at how hype has the power to dramatically influence our expectations.

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The Point
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rayden_blackout

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A few years back I unconsciously chose to ignore the hype machine and looking back at it now it was one of the best decisions. Once I hear that a game, a movie, an album or anything else for that matter is coming and if I know that it might be interesting to me, I start blocking all the info related to it - commercials, teasers, interviews, screenshots, comments from friends, suggestions, feedback or any discussion at all for that matter. In the end the only thing that I get is an unaltered experience and usually it's a blast. Even if you don't like something in the end you get the experience which is still a lot more rewarding than the disappointment you get from not living up to the expectations which are enforced by others on you.

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GrahamZ

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One thing that you said, and I know it''s way off from the main topic of the video, was that people prefer to always order from the same 3 take-out restaurants all the time. THAT is a regional thing, and not universal. I've lived in several different places in the US, and traveled quite a bit, and coming from New York, I will say that this is THE OPPOSITE of what is true. People who live in Urban areas tend to have a lot more choices available to them, and I know that almost EVERYONE in my family, and most of my friends from New York are generally excited by new restaurants to try, new ethnic foods that we have never sampled before, etc. It drove me nuts when I lived in the Midwest, and the only people who wanted to always try new things, turned out to be transplanted north-easterners like me.

I hate to tell you, but the desire to always stick with the familiar is NOT universal.

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GrahamZ

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Edited By GrahamZ

@GrahamZ: And btw, I'm pretty sure the reason for this is because of the 'mallification/fast-foodification' of America. Except for in and around big cities, every town in America is almost exactly the same, dominated by the same chain stores and the same chain restaurants. The problem with that is that chains tend to cater to the masses, so there's less competition for quality, and a lot more competition for cost and consistency. They sell cheap, bland food, with cheap ingredients, that is cooked by people who are like machines, rather than artists. Outside of a big city, you aren't going to have people out looking for unique experiences, because such experiences are too hard to find.

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jedikv

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This is why I really like the more dignified, detached approach the crew at Giantbomb take. Nobody does it better period. They aren't afraid to cast away the hype and in some cases even directly critique it, calling out any BS. Even if it means speaking directly to the company in question.

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Gudger

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I like the point.

I think discussing Hype is a valid point.

But please never do an intro to it like the again - my eyes are still bleeding at how painful that was to watch you go through with that Danny. Stick to the football intros in that park whilst freaking out about how expensive the camera was.

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DSExpert

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Edited By DSExpert

What's that game at 6:07? Its like Scalebound, but with large mechs instead of dinosaurs.

Edit (15 Minutes Later): I got it its Horizon Zero Dawn. Found the answer through the comments on the Youtube upload version of this video.

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scarred_fox

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you a fool Danny and I mean it in a humorous way XD

CGI trailers are great at starting hype but I don't get excited until I see some gameplay footage. Remember the 'Dead Island' CGI trailer and how hyped ppl were after that? Sure was a let down for those who based it off the CGI trailer XD

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BravoOneActual

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Hype machine > Tripe machine

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GeminiJ13

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I enjoyed this video. Keep it up.

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Assnballsify

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Edited By Assnballsify

Danny, this video was fantastic - bang on the money. It's refreshing that a site as big as Gamespot is able to produce such candid, truthful content in the face of an avalanche of bullshit. Cheers.

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BeantownSean

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I think a lot of being able to ignore hype comes from experience and maturity.

Publishers like Ubisoft have typically over-hyped and under-performed, so my expectations for something like The Divivsion are highly tempered right out the gate.

I'm also a long-time PC gamer, so drawing on the performance of past Ubisoft titles, there's reason to be cautious.

We're also in the age where many games are moving to online-only models where chunks of the game are sold as DLC. For, me this sort of business model is a Red-Flag, where I typically end up avoiding the title all together.

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anakvunky

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Nice to see the point is back in 2016... And really hyped for the next eps.

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TunaRage

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Props to Gamespot for allowing The Point to be a thing. It's a shame that journalism doesn't shout as loud as hype.

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omotih

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sometimes you cant even sleep when your internal hype machine is revving up to much

on topic: Blizzard is very good at controling Hype in its favour, its a bit dry but they recently made a new dev.insight video about aspects of it ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpS6odMAAJ4

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Samslayer

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Does anyone else remember "hearing" about a game by picking up the box and reading the back? Then the agony when the game sucked, but you still played through it because you bought it.

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InMaTe_of_Death

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@Samslayer: Nope I always knew the value of renting games before buying.

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Samslayer

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@inmate_of_death: True, I wish that was the case! I lived in a small town no rental places, and we had usually one shot a month to get a game if we had saved up enough money.

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Gelugon_baat

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@inmate_of_death: @Samslayer:

I always know the value of waiting for others to play the games before I do, if at all. ;)

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tsuingosuto1985

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so.... where are the influential people? all i see is dan... ranting xD

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Verenti

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I agree. Not exactly a controversial stance, but that's not bad given the topic.

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omotih

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@Verenti: I agree, this episode could have been more interesting/controversal ^^

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JohnyMyko

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Kinda ironic that this video came out when this same website got drenched in Division videos and ads.

Anyway, once again, I have to give props to Andy. He has some great shots in here, I really like how he's being careful with the lighting, that's something most people overlook.

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TunaRage

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@JohnyMyko: A brutha's gotta eat. Journalism doesn't pay like hype does.

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Fia1

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@JohnyMyko: yea... but the funny thing is, im pretty sure noone at this site likes that game at all, so its funny, i dont think they are giving it a "good" hype, more like they just dont like it at all so i dont think thats hype...

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littlemanharvey

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Love this show! I've been stung in the past by great expectations and the hype machine (AC series). Now I nearly always wait until I see reviews before buying new games.

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Gelugon_baat

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I would say here that if any of you are going to complain about the News section being full of hype and such other nosh, then don't peruse it.

I haven't done that for a year, just so you know where I stand on this matter.

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omotih

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@Gelugon_baat: long time no see ^^

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turtlesInTime

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In summary, stop visiting GameSpot, IGN, PCGamer, YouTube, etc. and you'll thank yourself later.

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Gelugon_baat

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@turtlesintime: That's an attempt to deflect from the fact that the crux of the problem lies with game consumers themselves.

I will tell you that I thought the same half a year ago, and I went on a long hiatus. Then I realized that it has always been the bulk of gamers themselves, specifically the ones who get excited too easily.

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Paul136

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Thanks for the video Danny, very well said! I've taken this viewpoint for many years now & it serves me well. On the surface it might seem cynical, but my appreciation for the games i ultimately buy & play has never been higher. My golden rule with games i'm unsure about--wait for just one week & gauge the reactions (from people you trust), and form your own opinions via gameplay videos. Look out for number 1 & remember the biggest responsibility you have in consumerist products is to yourself & your own enjoyment of said product/s, which certainly isn't in line with the position of the marketing campaigns.

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tsuingosuto1985

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@paul136 i cant really agree, ive always had a high expectance for games because so much filler gets released on consoles and always has, buying a game in even the 80s and 90s ran an annoyingly high risk of getting nothing for your moneys worth, very little has changed except for the way bloggers and so called game enthusiasts online that think very highly of themselves or internet critics which are little a dime a dozen... or a dime a million even now try to make something out of nothing because it gains them views and a following and they use that to further their life goals which usually have very little to do with their actual opinion and everything to do with researching to be on the side of majority and add to their bank balance. marketing has never been better and buying a game has never been better, you can usually test games or even trial the beta on alot of games or see video footage of how a game looks and plays, thats all that has really changed, now you dont HAVE to buy a game not having a clue whats going to be on it.

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SaturatedButter

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This is cute to see coming from the guy who flew to Poland to create a 3 part hype video series on Witcher 3 and the studio making it.

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JohnyMyko

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@saturatedbutter: He flew to Poland out of his own pocket to produce a video series about game development from a studio in Warsaw. He talked about lots of other stuff while there. I don't consider that hype videos. Now, what really are hype videos for sure is the shit-ton of content GameSpot is doing about The Division.

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tsuingosuto1985

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@JohnyMyko: no he didnt, it came out of gamespots pocket xD he like all critics and bloggers and self titled influential people are only out to add to their bank balance so its "side with majority, act like i matter, reuse actual fan critic opinions and recycle them" welcome to online gaming critics and gaming websites now, theyre all trying to get as much revenue as they can while its still big business.

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SaturatedButter

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Edited By SaturatedButter

@JohnyMyko: He didn't fly there "out of his own pocket". It was paid for by Gamespot.

But what does that have to do with it? Just because it wasn't sponsored advertising doesn't make it any less hyped. Hype isn't just marketing. It's all kinds of positive coverage before a game's release.

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Gelugon_baat

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Edited By Gelugon_baat

@saturatedbutter: Indeed.

But then, would you like him to go the way of Andrew Park? Andrew Park did his own thing, and look where that got him: let go for being considered as irrelevant by management.

(Just for additional context, Andrew Park used to write rather sporadic articles for niche sections of the PC crowd. You won't be wrong if you are thinking that these won't be getting much traffic to "justify" his employment in the eyes of management.)

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omotih

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journalists should dedicate their profession to become immune to Hype, everyone should be, but the former getting paid only to do so ... normaly

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yasso

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Very good video.

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MikEyNyHc

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'because being disappointed sucks! nobody likes it!' hahahaha

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Zair

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Hype is such an interesting topic because no one is quite in control of it, and how it plays out. It is difficult to anticipate what particular feature audiences will latch on to in a way that generates massive excitement. I would even go so far and put sequels into a completely different box to new IPs - the former, if they were very popular and have a fanbase, are not any more predictable, but they have the advantage/pressure of having some expectations to play with. With regards to features, you need little to nothing, or a lot, to make get the hype-train out rolling. Imagine Valve announced that Half-Life 3 was coming out in 2016 tomorrow with a short teaser trailer of a camera slowly moving up Gordon's iconic garment. The hype would explode on its own - no need to add anything. Throw in a scar on his face or a bionic limb and people would loose the plot. With new IPs the bigger, more bombastic games tend to focus on massive visuals and short gameplay demos that try to generate anticipation, but even that is not easy. New IPs mixed in with famous developers (Destiny and Bungie) tap into something already. In other cases, like The Division, people love the visuals and the setting, but what really generated excitement is your character closing a car door. No Man's Sky made people hyped by zooming out a map to reveal the scale of the universe, without giving any indication of gameplay mechanics or showing off through the roof graphics.

Mass Effect is my personal example of hype, excitement, joy and disappointment. Mass Effect was a game that was highly anticipated by me: BioWare; the trailer's graphics and screenshots looked crazy (at the time); the promise of exploring space with a fantastic story line; etc... My expectations were high! And it delivered. Mass Effect 2 didn't need to generate anticipation, that was there, but the debut trailer made me jump onto that hype train with a quickness (Shepherd killed in action and this N7 amor is worn by a geth!). The more trailers came, the more it seemed like an amazing story to await eagerly. Mass Effect 3 on the other hand presented an intriguing trailer, but nothing with the same oomph of ME2 (for me, at least... I cared about the protagonist and not the larger story of an earth attack). The hype was generated, for me, through a promise of the resolution of all of one's choices, choices that had captivated me and compelled me to be hyped about ME3. What was most anticipated, was what let me down the most.

Some of these nuances were a little lacking in this show, although I love the topic: something as small as a car door being closed, or as big as extensive coverage of how much choices will matter can both generate expectations about the game overall... but inversely, even if The Division is a great game that mostly lives up to the gameplay promised, if the details that caused the hype are missing I think people will be more critical, much the way if the anticipation rests on something more substantial.

In other words, hype is not in anyone's control, but it is a risky game to play - raise exceptions too high, sell many preorder, etc. is great, but if you mess that up, it will really impact the future of an IP... (I did not preorder Dragon Age III after being disappointed with the second one, and I have given up to AC completely). Maybe Danny, in this episode, went a bit too far in direction 'Corporate greed generates hype, let's be careful bout it.'

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Bensonator

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Too much hype puts me off - I HATE having games, movies & music shoved down my throat & be told 'YOU WILL ENJOY THIS!!!'. I've never been in to big RPG's but decided to give The Witcher 3 a try but I just couldn't get in to it - sorry fans

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SaturatedButter

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Edited By SaturatedButter

So hype plays a part in review scores because expectations make a difference in a reviewer's experience and hype strongly influences expectations, and this is acceptable.

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Gelugon_baat

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Edited By Gelugon_baat

@saturatedbutter: That effect of hype can go both ways, I would add. It is not always in the favor of the game when it comes to reviews.

For one, disappointment is an emotion which is hard to shake off when making an opinion about a game.

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Hellcanwait

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hmm, 15 stories about the division in 6 hours on GS... nothing to see here.

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SaturatedButter

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@Hellcanwait: I suggest you don't turn off your adblocker on Gamespot. It's drenched in Division ads.

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