Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Game trailers

There was a lot of negative commentary about the Mists of Pandaria trailer. I wasn't too much of a fan either, because the trailer had so little to do with actual World of Warcraft gameplay. If you think that in this expansion you can play a neutral faction that actively prevents Horde and Alliance bashing their heads in, you have been misled. On the positive side the trailer did show a fantasy game in a part of the virtual world that has heavy Asian influences in architecture and style. It showed the new race the expansion will bring, and the new monk class. So it wasn't completely off the bat. For that you would need to watch the Guild Wars 2 trailer, which manages to have absolutely nothing to do with Guild Wars 2. Nor make any sense. Nor encourage people to buy the game.

Shouldn't there be some "truth in advertising" rules for game trailers?

The MoP trailer actually show a funny/comedy game and I disliked it. I always believed Blizzard was the best on cinematics but I was disappointed with MoP. I still watch the vanilla/TBC/Wotlk cinematics now and then and still like them very much..

GW2 on the other side made a very bad cinematic...I wouldn't buy GW2 if all I have seen was this first half of the cinematic I thought it was for TSW...
The MoP trailer actually show a funny/comedy game and I disliked it.

Did you dislike it because you thought it was true, that WoW *is* a funny / comedy game? Or did you dislike it because you thought it was false, that WoW is in fact dead serious?

Personally I tend to think of WoW as a comedy game (Haris Pilton, goblin starter zone, etc.), and thus a comedy trailer seemed appropriate to me.
The GW2 trailer has clear direct thematic links to the product. The actors display equivalences from the potential range of real-life activities to a selection of in-game classes and activities, creating a bridge between what a player might do or desire to do in life and what he might do or desire to do within the game. Seemed quite clear to me and entirely in keeping with that segment of the last three decades of television and cinema advertising that bases itself on wish-fulfilment and aspiration. The kind of advertizing that says "if you buy this product you will be that person", in other words.

Kudos to ArenaNet for attempting to promote the game in a context that might get the attention of a non-gaming audience. I don't think it has a hope in hell of working, but it makes a lot more sense than spending money to advertize to MMO gamers who already know everything they could possibly need to know about GW2 to decide whether they want to buy it or not.
GW2 on the other side made a very bad cinematic...I wouldn't buy GW2 if all I have seen was this first half of the cinematic I thought it was for TSW...

This was also my first impression. I'm all for trying to do something different but giving the impression you're advertising for your competitors product sounds like a mistake to me.
Then again, I'm not the target audience. The fact that I already know both products is a prerequisite for making the TSW connection. I already have an opinion on both games (and purchased one of them) thus the commercial isn't targetted at me.
It does not, however, reflect how someone who doesn't know the game thinks about it.
Tobold said : Did you dislike it because you thought it was true, that WoW *is* a funny / comedy game? Or did you dislike it because you thought it was false, that WoW is in fact dead serious?

First of all the characters was very cartoony..The human for example was different style than say Tirion and Arthas in LK cinematic. Wow was a serious game with some comedy here and there, it was never a comedy game at its core and it was never advertised as such before. Vanilla/TBC/WotlK cinematics didn't advertised a heavy cartoony/Comedy game.
“Father, is it over?”
“At long last. No King rules forever, my son”
“I see ... only darkness before me” This movie is a Romance/drama although have some funny moments inside that made me laugh for a while. This movie is a comedy although in the finale it had a sad moment when you could throw a tear if you are sensitive

Wow was "Serendipity" and now is "Click". I can't explain it better and probably there are better examples than this but this is what came to my mind now..

I will play MoP as I play every new MMO or Expansions, although I can see that the core of the game has changed.
Hmm, Tobold are you trolling us? Is this the lab experiment to the "Confirmation bias" post where one's reaction to even a cinematic is driven by one's preconceived beliefs?

I think the trailer os also part of the new TV ad campaign; which means actual game play footage is less important than for assets intended for HC gaming sites/customers.

I liked it. I still think the pinnacle was LK due to the gravitas. The stick seen in MoP was great although perhaps still slightly beat out for best scene by the TBC warlock flicking hand and frying murlocs. YMMV

hm I find it odd people are saying that about this trailer. I would argue that this trailer has much more to do with mists then generic characters fighting in vanilla and BC, and arthas raising sindragosa in wrath. we got the basic storyline for how the factions find pandaria (the sea battle) and that the pandarian are a neutral faction that don't want the two factions fighting on their soil. then it shows you the monks training and scenery that IS actually a real place in the game.

This trailer served as the opening scene to the actual story of the expansion. Much more in my mind then any other. Only wrath came close in the Same purpose.
Perhaps the marketing is targeted to a specific audience? I would guess trying to get old players back. Existing ones know all about it. People who have avoided WoW before won't find anything in that trailer that's attractive.

The trailer is memorable and perhaps that's all they were trying to do.
It's....I can't even muster up energy to watch the MoP trailer, and the GW2 trailer is obviously trying to pull a "guess what we're selling" routine, suggesting they feel that if they provided a standard MMO trailer they'd get lost in all the noise of the other MMO trailers out there. Not sure GW2 has enough oomph to move outside of the core MMO market of hardcores, but they can always try. As for WoW.....I have lost all will to even feel interested anymore, never recovered from Cataclysm. Sticking with Rift, GW2 and TSW from here on out.
In the grand ol' tradition, trailers are done by marketing, game is done by development :)
I am not a fan of CGI trailers.

They don't represent the gameplay or the graphics of the final product.

In some ways it reminds me of PC gaming in the days when CDROM drives first started to appear.

Remember games started coming with CGI intro's but the in-game graphics did not look too dissimilar to something an Amiga 500 could produce!


Anyway back to the trailer...I am not sure what the purpose of it really is. Seemed like the only people that cared were the die hard fanboys who got seriously worked up into a frenzy before it was first shown. They are going to buy the game regardless.

Aside from that I don't really know anyone that cares.

Personally I'd prefer a machinima trailer much like those Mr T and Ozzie Osbourne commercials. If Blizzard wanted to attract ex subscribers I believe they should have placed a greater emphasis on showing off the "exploring a new island" aspect of the expansion as opposed to what looks like Streetfighter Panda Edition.
I'm still at a loss for word that people ever considered WoW to be "serious". What are we comparing it to Free Realms? I can think of a dozen other MMOs that are far more serious than WoW.

To me WoW has always been cartoony and a joke. I remember back in the WC2 days clicking on the orc boat until they threw up. I think people are mixing up gameplay and game content. The gameplay has some serious aspects, raiding, PvP, etc. The content, not so much.

I've given up on trailers telling me what a game is about or like anymore. I view a trailer as something to peek my interest and lure me to a site to learn more about a game.

I really like the MoP trailer. It has really good animation, great art design and a few funny moments. It introduces Pandaria, and that it stands at least marginally opposed to the human and the orc.

The GW2 trailer, on the other hand... looks like some art school fartsy TSW spoof that someone spliced GW2 graphics onto at the end.

Beyond that, I've *never* thought of these games as literal wish fulfillment. I don't imagine myself in the game. I'm not convinced that a plurality of potential players do either.

ANet has a winner in their art style... jettisoning it for some trendy neoGoth urban schtick just doesn't seem right.
I really like to know what people saw was so awful about the does it not fit into WoW? The people posting saying its bad are basically just saying "well its horrible" with nothing to back that up. Of course its all subjective and of course not everyone is going to like it but for the purposes of a discussion it would be nice if more people posted why they didn't like it, not just "oh its bad". I posted why I liked it.
It depends on how you're viewing it. I know that Blur studios (good god, go check out their clip reels sometime and realize just how much they do) do a lot of work for many games, and that they start and finish their work often even years before the game is released. They get commissioned with the basic plans, and roll out the 'trailer' to show that something is happening.

It's not surprising that in those cases, the trailer doesn't match the game. But Blur seems to work fast. I don't know what that means to other areas. Did A-Net do their own? Maybe that's why it wasn't ready by the time the game was?

Either way, when you've come so far on something, and it's an amazing piece of art in motion, just because some of the details don't apply anymore, you certainly wouldn't scrap all that investment. But if you think calling it a trailer is misleading, what DO they call it? Fan-art? It's not exactly made by fans, though. 'Concept art' occupies a specific purpose-oriented slot in my mental associations, too.

Regardless of what you want to call them to avoid misrepresentation, they absolutely deserve to exist and be shown.
(I imagine a conversation with an exec.)

"You! Dev-person! I've been talking to Marketing."


"They're complaining you didn't make an intro movie."

"Sure we did. The player gets a customized one for each race they select, it inserts their avatar and their background traits and brings them up to speed on the game-world."

"Wait... That comic-book crap where the artist couldn't paint inside the lines?"

"It's a style, sir."

"I'm talking about an intro MOVIE dammit, not a slideshow. Like that Star Wars one that won all those awards! Those EA execs were swimming in poon. Why aren't I swimming in poon?"

"The personal story intros tested better as being more involving and descriptive for players."

"You mean people who already BOUGHT the game? Fuck them, we already have their money. How are Marketing supposed to get MORE customers if they don't have a big, flashy movie sequence to put on TV?"

"Isn't that why Marketing have a budget? We spent ours on... making the game."

"Cute. Look. I'm sending someone over from Marketing this afternoon. Show him the game, he'll go commission something tomorrow. Fucking embarrassing. It's a good thing we're swimming in MONEY at least. Your lot better hope our sub numbers don't drop."

"I can promise you they won't. Wait... he's only spending an afternoon?"

"Relax. These people are professionals."
Adverts lie? Nooooo! You have destoyed my child-like faith in humanity.
Finally - an MMO for the 99%!
So would you say that Guild Wars "deserved" a better trailer? ;)
I've said it before, but the trailer would have almost made sense if it had started at around the 1:15 mark. Give a vaguely inspiring voiceover and have someone swimming into the game world.
Rules? I don't like regulation of creative arts, but it is interesting that video games, perhaps unlike any other entertainment platform, markets/advertises with only simulations or suggestions of the actual product.

Personally, I really like both trailers. I like that the MoP trailer tells a simple story and clearly introduces setting. The GW2 trailer is just pretty cool and for me it gets better with multiple viewings.

Perhaps the difference between the 2 styles is representative of one game trying to keep subscribers, the other trying to reach new customers.
I don't really ever expect an MMO game trailer to show me what to expect in terms gameplay. If want to see that I'll go looking for gameplay videos. Playing an MMO for me is more about the concept of what I'm involved in. If I use your D&D experience as an analogy the trailer should be a bit like the DM, it should focus the story and not concentrate on the details. It's far more interesting to be told that you're going to be in an epic struggle for your land and family than to be told you will be grinding 5 more levels and then jump on the gear treadmill for the next 18 months. If anything I wish for more high concept type stuff associated with wow. I love looking at player created concept art and machinema as it tells a story in a way the game does not.
Truth in advertising!? Hahahahahahahaahahaaha!
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