Tuesday, 28 July 2015

No Man's Sky: Who Should Take The Blame For Uber-Hyping This Niche Indie Title And Pushing Hello Games Out On A Ledge?

Who could not have heard of this largely single player, procedurally generated space explore 'em up by this stage? It's a small indie game that hasn't even got a release date and yet the endless flow of nonsense speculation is more in tune with the next Uncharted or Gears of War release. If anything, that speculation is more hysterical because there are so many gaps for the hype to fill. Gaps which despite all the best day dreaming on the world will probably remain gaps in the finished game.

Much to the apparent chagrin of the game's developer Hello games, hype now defines No Man's Sky. It has hype on it's hype, poured over a rack of hype with a side of hype. Would you care for a tall glass of hype whilst you wait for desert? Chocolate covered Disappointment folks. The other Chocolate. There can be nothing else at the end of a menu like that.

Once it has surfaced, No Man's Sky will still doubtless appeal to many patient gamers like Gamertroll who are already interested in high-concept titles, but a skull-cracking hangover from all this hype is still inevitable. High concept is far from everyone's cup of tea with quality gameplay often taking a back seat. Mark my Troll words, there will be carrot strewn sick on the floor before this is over, with or without Project Morpheus instigating it. The game is niche, any fucker can see that, so we might reasonably ask why this game is being pushed at everyone? And when Gamertroll means everyone, think Gary Oldman 's corrupt Police lieutenant in the Film Leon, "EEVVEERRYYOONNEE!

A few savvy players and industry pundits have already spotted the impending car crash that will follow No Man's Sky's chronic mis-marketing, but even fewer seem to know against whom to direct their growing sense of anger. That confusion is currently incubating the idea amongst the gaming masses that journalists should solely carry the blame if the game's reputation suffers at the hands of over-expectation.

Pish posh and tish! What proper cobblers that is. It's a typically bullshit and simplistic mis-reading of the situation. It's not just Journalists that are guilty of creating this trap for Hello game's No Man's Sky and Gamertroll is only too happy to viciously shove the other culprits into the spot light before they scurry away as usual, blameless.

First we have the lightest of offenders: those Gamers in our midst that have been gushing in comments and posts for upwards a year now, over an indie title they have virtually no idea about, Guilty. Then granted, you have the Gaming media, feeding off their frenzy, Guilty. Wild flocks of Sony 'Pony' fanboys who have, under the same circumstances been using it to fluff the exclusive line-up for their beloved platform, Guilty. Then, last but certainly not least, Sony themselves are in the dock, for not one, but two separate gross charges: both for putting an unrealistic AAA promotional spend behind a niche indie title and then not having a sufficient stable of the other exclusive full price games necessary to take the pressure off No Man's Sky once they'd applied it. You can't have an underdog, a 'surprise' indie game with the platform provider announcing it continually over a loud hailer for years in advance. How does a hidden gem even hide with no AAA games to hide behind? So the Gamertroll verdict is in: Sony is Guilty and Guilty. 

All aboard the Hype train
Nothing here is as it was meant to be and Gamertroll feels bad for the position Hello Games now finds itself in: standing over a lofty precipice staring down into a very shallow puddle with everyone goading them to jump. The result is likely to be less of a triple pike with a forward tuck than a forced belly flop shortly followed by a wet crunch.

There is no way this game can match the back-breaking burden of hype that has been lashed to its back by Sony, The Gaming media and gamers themselves.

Hello game's creative director Sean Murray clearly stated at interview, "We had an idea for a game and we may never be able to deliver on the hype. But we can deliver the game we set out to make. That has to be enough." And of some Gamers he had this to say..
, "They project their own idea of the game onto what we're doing," Then in this last, hopeless statement he seems resigned to fate,"Maybe that is the nature of hype: runaway excitement that can never be matched?" -Not that anybody has noticed Sean Murray's bewildered calls for reason, as they are being utterly drowned out against the looped soundtrack of gamer's presumptuous, howling ecstasy.

NMS has Procedurally generated worlds and creatures, A brilliant conceptual
advance, but it is hard to imagine it having any impact on gameplay quality.
Ultimately, Gamertroll can see two ways to approach the release of this ambitious but crucially modest title: you can hop from foot to foot flapping your arms like a teeny bopper at a Justin Bieber concert or you can just sitthefuckdown, forget about it and play something else until it pops up as a nice surprise in the PSN store. That is afterall, how this whole thing should have gone down.

Instead, we got this game hoisted aloft like the burning man at The Playstation experience last year (alongside an embrionic Uncharted 4) used as a shrewdly played distraction for a poor 2014 Christmas line-up on the platform. Little Big planet 3 and Singstar anyone? Remember that? Gamertroll sure clocked that play.

Under the circumstances, Gamertroll will try to greet No Man's Sky with the studied lack of expection, patience and a generosity of spirit more befitting a game that is made by only 13 people! Yeah, you read that right. Sony has more PR people ramming this game down gamer's throats billed as the second coming than Hello games has employees.

Gamertroll Hardly blames Hello's Creative Director for shitting his pants over what is to come. He's having what looks like a great little game being set up to fail and sacrificed like a pawn in a greater political battle over exclusive software librarys.

If No Man's Sky is anything less than a miracle, there will be a media backlash and articles seeking to crucify the game. When it happens, it's especially worth remembering that when game Journalists start a feeding frenzy on a given subject: they are often only anticipating the demands of their readers.

More specifically, if all this momentus hype results in most gamers feeling mislead or disppointed, it's hardly a stretch to assume derision and disappointment will be the overriding themes post-release. When gamers feel disappointment they want to be assured they're correct in their instinct. Que: the gaming media to apply that salve, with pop-up ads. It'll not hurt Sony either, they'll already have the pump out and have half-inflated the next, distant release. Lingering hope is a useful tool, whatever the final outcome and it's a lesson that won't soon be forgotten. Get used to this business model.

'Just an indie game right? Nothing to do with Sony' will be the line. Hell, 'Hello Games let Sony down, they refused the offer of more funds and staff', the twatish fanboys will cry. Nobody will remember that Hello Games refused Sony's offer because they would have to change their singular vision.

If Hello games do survive this episode intact, they might want to develop their next game in secret, making a surprise announce at launch. Just a thought guys.

Want to see what happens when a niche game that should have been a cult hit gets mismarketed to every gaming demographic from ear-piercing COD squeakers and Project Cars tinkerers right through to Super Smash Brother Mew two voters? Brace yourself, because mother of God, here it comes.







Interview source: Gamespot