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Hype and Credibility Do Not Mix
// Submitted @ 1:21 PM on 08.10.2009
In the last five years the concept of "Originality" has been thrown around with several parties in the industry stating there is a lack of it. However when it is provided to us through whatever format the majority either fail commercially (Okami) or fail in providing a genuinly enjoyable experience (Kane and Lynch :Dead Men), there have been success stories when original IP have succeeded (Bioshock) but the majority fail to live up to there expectations.
Time and again in this generation we the consumer have been let down by the hype the majority of these original titles bring with them, games such as Assassins Creed and Fracture have been presented to us by the PR departments from Ubisoft and Lucas Arts in a way which creates unrealistic expectations and when the game fails to live up to the hype credibility is lost from the IP and the Publisher as they have deceived there own audience. This deception may be beneficial in the short-term because of increased sales of the title due to the pre-release hype however, in the long-term it has the potential to damage the reputations of the publisher and developer as they prove they are prepared to deceive the consumer to acheive short term success.
This is not only an issue for original IPs but for sequels and franchise based games too, however with these type of games the publisher and the franchise have more to lose as it is most likely the dedicated fans who are going to be dissapointed. This has occurred not to recently with the Sonic The Hedgehog Franchise, basing my sales figures on those from the Xbox 360 only, displayed on Vgchartz the 1st title in the franchise on the console (Sonic The Hedgehog) sold 0,58 million copies, whereas the 2nd title (Sonic Unleashed) sold 0.46 million copies. This drop in sales is emphasized by the fact the 2nd game was available at half price at many retailers at the time of release due to the financial troubles of EUK. Sonic The Hedgehog brought with it huge hype as expectations rose for the next gen release however fans were severely let down when they were provided with a broken unfinished mess which received extremely bad press from both critics and gamers alike. Sonic Unleashed however brought with it just as much hype, was reviewed more positively (Still not great) and was available at a lower price point yet still failed to sell as many copies as it predecessor which was in the majorities opinion inferior in every way. This suggests Sonic Unleashed failed to sell as many copies as Sonic the Hedgehog because of the damage to the franchises reputation this title caused and also the damage caused to the publisher and developer as well. (Sega and Sonic Team)
This is only conjecture and there may be other conditions I have failed to take into account however based on this example there is enough proof to assume that hype can have just as many negative effects as positive in the long term of a product or franchise.
(Or what i've written could be a load of bull and people just didn't buy it because of that dam werehog)
This is the first blog I have written so if there are mistakes or errors, tough.
By the by I have no idea how to input pics so for now thats also tough.