2014 was a strange year for videogames, over brimming with disappointments, glitches and server issues. But fear not gamer, for with every heartbreak is the opportunity to find new love. Where videogames have shown their true strengths, eccentricities and their more laughable flaws was in the world of marketing.
So to close out the old and welcome in the new, we look at how the best in the industry presented their games. From the inventive, the insane to the downright goofy, here are four picks of how games were promoted in 2014 – be it through announcement or advertisement – which shows off the weird and wonderful world us gamer’s choose to inhabit.
P.T. and the perfect announcement
Back in August, P.T. was revealed at Gamescom and quickly re-revealed to be a ‘playable teaser’ of the upcoming Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro produced Silent Hills. It was Konami’s attempt to breath fresh air into the dying – or if we aren’t being coy, dead – franchise. The-unlikely duo proved to be a match for Mary Shelly’s famed scientist. That dying series? It’s alive!
In a skilfully handled piece of promotion, Sony presented P.T. at their conference as a new horror IP with little fuss; they showed off some ‘real’ scare-cam footage and announced that the game was now available to play on PSN. A similar trick was pulled when announcing Entwined at E3, bur we all know how that went. Entwined was just Entwined.
Within a few hours of P.T.’s announcement, the internet was already rife with forums discussing the weird going-ons and the cryptic nature of P.T.’s story and gameplay. Eventually, word of the game’s connection to Silent Hills had spread and critics all over were lauding Kojima and Del Toro’s ploy.
This was a genius way to reintroduce Silent Hills and possibly the best game announcement of all time.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in a cardboard box
Immediately before P.T. was revealed and anyone realised it was a Kojima project, Kojima himself took to the stage for the Sony conference at Gamescom and showed off the latest improvements to the Metal Gear Solid series. Scratch that, he showed off the infamous ‘box’. This is what followed:
Firstly, this was how Kojima chose to spend his time in the limelight at Gamescom. Secondly, despite the slight backlash regarding the Phantom Pain character Quiet, Kojima moves into another generation with his niche idiosyncrasies that would be condemned and ridiculed for being immature if any other member of the industry did the same. The rightful criticisms of the industry’s childish nature and obsession with scantily‑clad women are dismissed every chance Kojima gets to ogle at a pair of pixelated breasts. Not content with being a fossil of previous generations, this dinosaur moves hastily on, seemingly for a joke that only he is privy to.
One part of me wants to tell Kojima to join the movement beyond such remnants of a bygone era, in order to fully progress forwards. Another part of me wants to buy him a beer for having the gall to get on stage and be shamelessly immature.
Plus, he’ll forever be remembered for getting on stage just to present a video of a box. Doesn’t that make you want to buy his game?
This Ninty advert has seemingly been pulled straight out of the early 90s and is so totally radical that all sales of Super Smash Bros must be attributed to it.
Using cools teens, including one disheartened younger brother with a crush on the cool and sympathetic – which is totally cool – gamer girl, Ninty has finally confirmed that it is stuck in the 90s with Kojima and failed to understand what its target audience wants; that is, a super competitive videogame with tight mechanics and impeccable balance, not to live out the wet dream of a 14-year-old.
Condescending advertising does not work.
That Madden NFL 15 advert
Insane. Superfluous. OTT. Three words that perfectly describe this advert. But you know what, it got me talking about Madden and I hate sports.
Silly advertising does work.
NB. YouTube links are from external web outlets.