Jan 26, 2011

How NOT To Market Your Game

The upcoming japanese title Catherine has created a lot of buzz the past couple of months. With the Persona Team taking it's first big leap into the realm of HD with  sexy cover girl Catherine, it's no surprise why a lot of Atlus fans are frothing at the mouth. Beginning with teaser images, fans avidly waited for the next batch of info for the game's mechanics. Unfortunately Atlus decided to go about this reveal in a manner many found deceiving, setting themselves up for a huge wave of disappointment.

Hit the jump to read on!

When gamers found out that Vincent, the main character, was originally an NPC in the much loved Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable the excitement grew exponentially. For weeks gamers speculated on the game, with assumptions it would follow the mechanics of previous Persona games with heavy dialogue options, turn based battles, and a thriving world to make decisions in.

Then something amazing happened. We were given a (possibly NSFW) trailer!

Incredibly enough, not a hint of gameplay was given! It didn't matter though, the game looked beautiful and gamers anticipated the best from Atlus, also did you see how sexy it looked! While some (including myself) speculated that this tease of the gameplay was only going to end in disaster, the rest of the gaming world waited patiently for more information, while also watching Catherine eat pizza on repeat.

Over the next few weeks Atlus began to tease for more information over on the Catherine website, with upcoming releases such as story, characters, and. . .GAMEPLAY?! Oh hell yes! (I won't get into the logistics of the story and characters, but you can catch up on it over on the wiki)

Releasing another trailer for the game, gamers were finally given a small glimpse of what the game might play like, but not really. At this point fans began to worry, was Atlus unsure of their game? Atlus knows they have an amazing story to build upon, but do they have the mechanics to keep the game fun?

Then this happened

What. The. F***? Is that a tongue coming out of it's. . . And is that. . .I don't even want to know.

Then this

Finally gameplay! Unfortunately for Atlus, a platforming puzzle game was the last thing fans were expecting. Backlash was imminent. Fans began to claim that their on the fence purchase became a definite "no buy", as the gameplay was far too unconventional. 

Personally, I'm still extraordinarily excited for this game. Despite the unconventional gameplay the Persona Team simply doesn't have the track record for bad games, and this still looks like a lot of fun. The frantic speed of the gameplay looks to be a fun experience. This isn't about me though, the issue of the matter is Atlus' method of showcasing the game. Fans waited patiently for gameplay details, but instead we were given cutscene after cutscene, building it up into something much bigger than it should have been. If Atlus had come outright and said, "Hey look guys, you're going to be running and jumping. Alot. This isn't an RPG per-se, but a Horror-Drama with fast and frantic platforming elements. There's also a monster with a tongue coming out of it's ass." gamers would have been (mildly) okay with the situation.

Developers, if your game is unconventional and different I'm okay with that. Just please, show us the gameplay outright instead of jerking us around to make us expect something more.

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