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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Temper Your Expectations

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or you'll be disappointed.

It is EXTREMELY common for fans in our videogame industry to over-hype themselves. You would think they would learn by now. Whether it's all of the hype for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess that only seemed to intensify as it continually got delayed, or the biggest hype-for-a-game-ever Super Smash Bros. Brawl, gamers create impossible expectations for entertainment to meet and only end up feeling like crap afterwards.

Of course, this isn't only gamers' faults. Corporate marketing plays a role too! Like Ubisoft's PR for WATCH_DOGS. Look at these expectations!

For a non-gaming example, we take it to KoopaTV non-correspondent Geraldo Rivera:


Which of course, ended up something like this (and is the reason why Geraldo is not a correspondent with KoopaTV):


How to avoid this is simple: Be aware of your own hype and reduce it. Try to implement as many negative thoughts as you can. By keeping your expectations low, you can be pleasantly surprised. But don't expect to be pleasantly surprised. That would defeat the whole purpose. Don't even have it in the back of your mind. You must be a grumpy pessimist all the time. It's the only way to enjoy yourself!

Don't be like this guy, ecstatic over The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword upon announcement. We bet he wasn't grinning like this upon release.

Don't think you fall victim to this? The "CoroCoro Leak" that was supposed to unveil all the Super Smash Bros. 4 characters, as reported by Nintendo World Report, one of the worst Nintendo news sites on the Internet, ended up revealing nothing new. Except for Off-TV Play in the Wii U version, apparently. But if you asked me months ago if Super Smash Bros. For Wii U would support Off-TV Play, I would've answered "yes." I'm pretty sure we already knew that.

Trying to predict Masahiro Sakurai's Pic of the Day updates is worse than trying to predict grain futures. You can't do it. People actually expected that after Sakurai's troll update yesterday that... sort of featured Meta Knight, that he would fully reveal Meta Knight today. Nope! Instead we get some Pac-Man item crap that I'll turn off when I play the game.

For an example closer to home, during the February Direct that happened during KoopaTV's wonderful February vacation hiatus, KoopaTV staff member RawkHawk2010 was clinically depressed. It was the week of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze! It was a February Direct! There would be a new character announced for Super Smash Bros. 4. It was supposed to be Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, or King K. Rool! Those were his expectations. But no, it was someone even better: The star on KoopaTV's PC Game Of 2013, Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!! It was... LITTLE MAC! KoopaTV's darling! With an absolutely amazing trailer. Yet Rawk was blinded with depression/rage about how Mac was not a Donkey Kong Country character, because that's what he expected.

Of course, if market researchers scanning the Internet looks at the landscape and sees that no one is hyped up for their upcoming product, they'll be pretty sad. "We just blew a million bucks making that amazing CG trailer! Where is the Internet buzz?!" Maybe they'll cancel the project altogether, or the developers would be so depressed they wouldn't be enthusiastic enough to make a good product. The latter certainly happens (see modern-day Rare), though the canceling part doesn't. Maybe it should, but if everyone really did follow my advice, I'd basically be advocating for everyone to not care about upcoming stuff which would send the wrong market signal.

So express your hype via pre-ordering, not from blog posts and forum threads! Or you might have to write a blog post less than a month later completely reversing your hype.


Ludwig writes blog posts regularly. Look around KoopaTV. Many of them are pessimistic in nature, which is consistent with what this article says. Is there value to hyping yourself up for something only to set yourself up for disappointment later? Sound off in the comments!

3 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Most optimism can be good...
      But in some cases with Nintendo and EA....
      Not so good.

      Delete

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