Hello Games On The “Disconnect” Between Developers, Press And Consumers
Speaking at Develop Brighton today, Hello Games’ Sean Murray commented on the growing reluctance among game developers to talk to the games press about their projects.
Referencing the overwhelming reaction No Man’s Sky provoked from press and audience alike, Murray claims that “there’s a disconnect” between the journalists that developers talk to, and the people who end up actually purchasing the game.
“You don’t realise as a developer that you’re talking to millions of people when you do something like E3,” he said. “And most people who buy your game have only ever seen one video, and they’ve probably only seen 30 seconds of it.”
Murray went on to say:
“There’s a disconnect there… Clearly, to us, it’s obvious that some features are working, and some aren’t, and some things we tend to do work out and some things don’t. We’ve cut out this feature and put this other cool one back in… We’re just going back and forth like that as, again, just a handful of people making our game.”
When No Man’s Sky’s was released in 2016, it faced an angry backlash from players who felt misled by pre-release marketing materials since the game were missing advertised key features. The studio has made a somewhat successful recovery thanks to its focus on post-launch updates. Many players are now eagerly anticipating No Man’s Sky Beyond, a large free update due sometime this summer.
“We went about two years without talking to press at all and we went about three months without saying anything to the community either. That was really hard. I sat down so many times and wrote the perfect blog post that was going to explain everything about the game’s development, and the road map going ahead. But I could see that it didn’t hold credibility with regards to where we were at.”
Murray also mentioned EA, Microsoft and Bethesda in his keynote panel, stating that they “try to placate players by just talking to them, but for right or wrong, it just doesn’t really work.”
It seems like striking the correct balance between hyping upcoming games and tempering players’ expectations is getting more and more difficult: Considering the fury directed at the developers after No Man’s Sky and Anthem failed to live up to expectations, there’s a growing trend where unhappy customers are biting back when games fail to deliver on their promises.
Although it might look risky, it seems like an open dialogue with the community is the best way to avoid riling people up when things go pear-shaped.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Which of these franchises did Warframe creators Digital Extremes NOT develop a game for?
- Star Trek
- The Darkness
- Dungeons & Dragons/Forgotten Realms
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Forager Set To Release This Month On Consoles, Physical Version Coming In September
Indie hit Forager is finally making its way to the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on July 30th. Released back in April, Forager has become a big success on Steam where it features a rating of ‘Very Positive’ (aggregated from over 5,500 reviews). In Forager, players hunt for animals, tend to their farms, search for artifacts to fill your museum and even delve into the wizarding world of alchemy and rune inscription.
A physical version will also release on both consoles, priced at $30 and arriving on September 10th.
Kingdom Under Fire 2 Due To Release This Year
Originally announced in 2008, we had lost all hope for Kingdom Under Fire 2. The game has only ever been available in Russia and Asia and we’ve heard very little about it in recent years. Yet – seemingly out of nowhere – Gameforge appears to have acquired the publishing rights and has announced plans to release it in the West sometime this year.
Chief Product Officer at Gameforge, Tomislav Perkovic, commented on the news:
“We’re very excited to partner with Blueside to continue this epic saga and finally bring it to Western markets for the very first time. We are determined to help Blueside realize their vision of the ultimate MMO, launching Kingdom Under Fire 2 for Windows PC in North America and Europe later this year.”
If you want to keep up with all the upcoming Kingdom Under Fire 2 announcements, you can follow its new Facebook page.