The art of gaming trailers

Trailers can make you love or in the words of Mighty No. 9, make you cry like an anime fan on prom night.

Yeah, you read that right. Read it again, it does not get better.

If you ever needed proof that it takes talent to put together a well executed game trailer, look no further than the crazy attempt from the project lead by Mega Man mastermind Keiji Inafune. With intentional over-the-top voiceover that tries it’s very best to be funny while managing to be almost apocalyptically embarrassing, it did nothing to sell a game that’s struggling to hold interest.

However, with a good teaser of what’s to come, you can really revitalise a series that has been slumping. Look at the reactions to the recent Battlefield 1 trailer, despite the silliest name in history, people are pretty amped to play the game that goes back to World War One with a little bit of revision and a little less trench warfare, it has the audience interested in playing Battlefield again.

Compare that to the outcry against another drab and dreary Call of Duty trailer. Even thought Activision took the major step of setting one level or a multiplayer map in space, the brave soldiers for innovation, it did not stop them from having the most disliked video game trailer in YouTube history.

Not saying that YouTube likes should be an absolute barometer on this kind of thing but it’s clear that staying the same and mundane, while adding the stupid pre-order bonus rubbish I’ve already written about, will eventually harm you.

It’s also not to say that a great trailer out the gate means it will be a great game, take a look at the likes of wonderfully underwhelming The Order: 1886 or the complete tone change of Dead Island. While they did not use too much game footage, they both showed that showcasing your game in a certain light can lead to unrealistic expectations, especially when it has nothing to do with what will be presented at the end of the development cycle.

Especially with E3 creeping it’s head round the corner, companies nailing what they show to the customers is absolutely vital. If you get the messaging right, give them something interesting and something substantial enough that they are invested but not over-engorged, then you can start to build that hype.

If you don’t, well, you might just be crying like an anime fan on prom night.

Seriously, that quote will never, ever die.


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