Brand Recognition: Literal Poison to the Gaming Industry
By Chandler Preston Rice
When Assassin's Creed: Unity was released I, like everyone else in the gaming community, rushed out to purchase what would be the single worst Assassin’s Creed known to humanity. It was a buggy embarrassment of a video game and I am ashamed to have joined the mob and spending my not hard earned money for it. It wasn’t until recently, after a second, also buggy and unfinished release of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, that the errors were addressed and apparently the game has been much better received. I wouldn’t know, because I still refuse to play it. So why did we all run, sometimes literally, to our local GameStop and shell out $60 for a rushed release? Because of the name. We all saw “Assassin’s Creed” and instantly thought, “Well Black Flag was amazing, perhaps the best in the series! Ubisoft should knock this new one out of the park!” Ah, to be young and innocent again.
So, let us highlight the major issues with brand recognition. As a publisher or developer this is the ultimate goal, to be able to simply say the name of your title and cause people to literally stab and rob a man outside of a local Asda Superstore in London for the new Grand Theft Auto (Not joking). And people say video games don’t cause violence. As a consumer, we must realize that we are being had, though often we do not realize this until well after the release. Due to this becoming common practice the community has become complacent in the process, even taking part by not demanding that developers to fix this issue. The best feedback you can give will hit the creator in their wallet. Of course, people generally create video games as a source of income, it’s always something in the back of your mind. You may develop a game due to the passion you have for the idea or the genre, but always there will be that thought of funding.
So, why has this become commonplace? During the days of cartridges instead of discs or downloadable content, a game had to be absolutely perfect. There were no day one updates or maintenance periods. If the product was not fully formed then it wasn’t going to sell. In late 1998 Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. The game was released on a 256-megabit cartridge, the largest-capacity cartridge made by Nintendo at the time. It is often described as the single greatest story based video game ever created, only overshadowed by later reincarnations, Breath of the Wild being the most recent. But why is Ocarina of Time so acclaimed? Because it was a finished product. As stated before, Nintendo could not release an update to the game without releasing another game. The progression of the internet has spoiled us as players and developers. We have become accustomed to waiting for a 4-gigabyte update to download and install, which on some internet packages could take literal days.
The only option I see is to burn down the entire industry and begin anew, rekindle the bonfire if you will. Short of that, the second best idea we can do is warn future gamers, the next generation, to learn from us, or they will pay the vile consequences. We need to teach n00bs not to be complacent, and teach ourselves the same. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Thank you for reading, and keep up the fight.