Jan 24, 2013

Aliens : Colonial Marines Gets A New Kickass Trailer (Aka How Marketing Can Work Against You)

Gearbox has been at it for a few years with Aliens: Colonial Marines, and I'd go as far as say that this game's been stuck in development hell, with it's development cycle starting around 2006. The concept for the game is solid, with a plotline spanning between the events of Aliens and Alien 3 regarding a search team with orders to investigate the U.S.S. Sulaco and figure out what happened to Ripley, Colonel Hicks and the rest of the team dispatched to LV-246. From a story sense, the game is so canon that the title is officially a part of the Aliens franchise.

But then came this 'Kickass trailer,' which has raised quite a few eyebrows among fans and even Gearbox employees alike. The trailer brings us dubstep, awful voice overs contradicting earlier trailers with a macho marine spouting out the types of phrases you'd expect from the latest Call Of Duty trailer. Over the years I've come to understand that game developers and marketing teams don't exactly work hand in hand, and this is a textbook example. This new trailer was so forced that the creative director at Gearbox took up to Twitter to reassure concerned fans that he had nothing to do with the dialogue for the trailer.

From a marketers perspective, their job is to appeal to as many people as possible in order to sell as many copies as possible, yet this borders into gray area when the title gets marketed as something it is not. This awful practice has been on the rise lately in the entertainment industry, with movie trailers especially deceptively edited to appear something they're not to lull people into buying tickets (Too many times to count in the last few years). To be honest, there's nothing that pisses me off more than being mislead by warped marketing, and I wish people creating these trailers would understand that it works against them.

Compare the above trailer to the actual story trailer released a few weeks earlier, above. Notice a 100% difference in tone, subtlety and attention to story? Notice how the protagonists act like real people, with a concern for their own safety  This is the type of trailer that gets me excited for an Aliens game, an honest trailer representative of the narrative driven experience you're going to get. So please, let's nip the dubstep treatment at the bud and not let this trend spread to gaming as well. Aliens: Colonial Marines is coming out on February 12th.

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