The hype machine can be a bit of a cruel beast at times, and some games are even hyped up to a level where its impossible to meet people's expectations. It's a wonderful benefit to have people looking forward to your game, but it can be a slippery slope for many.
Hello Games is the studio behind the upcoming first-person adventure game called No Man's Sky. You've no doubt heard about this intriguing, new brand and want to hear more. The founder of the studio Sean Murray talked about the hype machine and how it can really turn into a detriment for a studio.
"I think that we strayed into this area that is not just excitement, but kind of like hype, and hype is your worst enemy as a developer, because it's that thing that's really impossible to deliver against. It's great that people have that excitement, but all it makes me want to do is actually go quiet and go and make the game.
"I think it is just pressure, you know? But I think the way we work we're happy with. I'll give you an example. Every other developer I meet keeps saying 'oh, how many is Hello Games now post-E3, it must be, like, 50 people? You must be hiring like crazy!' But that's not our attitude at all.
"We definitely don't want it to affect us. And I think it would be this ludicrous mistake as well. You could almost write it out that Hello Games would come back from E3, hire loads of people, go crazy, and never be seen again. But it's also quite nice that we have enough interest, because it allows us to just focus on making the game," Murray said.
It's interesting to see how level-headed Murray has remained with No Man's Sky. A lot of people who've had this type of interest in a small game would be looking to capitalize on it and add more people, more this, more that. That definitely doesn't seem to be Murray's style, though.
While it's true that too much hype can really hurt the overall perception of a game after it's launched, it's not a completely horrible thing either. Creating buzz and talk around your product is something every brand needs, whether it's ultimately a good thing or not. It's admirable to hear of Murray's idealized picture of how they wish to promote and talk about No Man's Sky.
It's truly refreshing to hear a developer who wants to keep things somewhat quiet, with that said though, you still need to communicate what your game is about to people. For No Man's Sky, they will need to create a balance between talking about their game and what they show.
There's a fine balance and it'll be interesting to see what it ultimately turns out to be for Hello Games. We do know they have a vast majority of the industry paying strong attention to them, ultimately waiting to see what this game is. The answer should come in 2015 on PS4 and PC.