Hype Fatigue: Why I’m Exhausted With Viral Marketing, Elaborate Advertising Campaigns, and Countdowns

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The machinations of video game marketers absolutely baffle me. Obviously, “video game marketing” is an incredibly broad term that encompasses hundreds of different campaigns a year, all run by different people, and all carried out with different expectations. Whipsawing between a seemingly neverending series of hype events and viral campaigns has started to make my head spin. Following hashtags and decoding secret messages has become de rigueur if you want to come up with all the latest game news. Last week, three publishers launched three very different viral campaigns that made me long for the days of the simple press release/trailer combo platter. But maybe they aren’t to blame, as video game marketing has been growing increasingly insane for years now.

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Posted in 3DS, Mobile, Opinions, PC, PS3, PS4, Top Story, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , , , ,

EA has unveiled first Star Wars: Battlefront trailer and details

Are you still reeling from yesterday’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer? Prepare yourself for even more tears of nerdy joy as Electronic Arts and DICE pulled back the curtain on the first Star Wars: Battlefront trailer today.

Taking place on Endor, gamers were greeted to an exciting mix of ground and vehicle combat as speederbikes buzzed between trees, Rebel troops did battle with Stormtroopers, and a squadron of Y-Wings performed a bombing run on a massive AT-AT. It’s an amazing display of “Game Engine Footage” (no gameplay just yet), which segues into a quick spin around the galaxy for visits to Hoth, Tatooine, and the never-before-seen Sullust. The trailer also gave us fleeting glimpses of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the Millennium Falcon… all three of which will be playable in the game.

Star Wars: Battlefront won’t feature a campaign mode, but will instead focus on a variety of 40-person multiplayer battles set during the Original Trilogy. However, a single-player Mission Mode will be included that will also offer the opportunity for local or online co-op play with a second player. Whichever way you play, gamers will be able to seamlessly switch between first-person and third-person views as they fight on the ground or in the air.

“Like so many others around the world, everyone at DICE is a tremendous fan of the Star Wars universe,” said Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, the Senior Producer of Star Wars: Battlefront. “To be working on a Star Wars project and knowing we are helping to represent the universe we love to our generation and a legion of new Star Wars fans is truly an honor. Thanks to the access and knowledge shared with us by Lucasfilm, and the passion and talent of our team, we plan to deliver an amazing game that puts you right in the middle of the Star Wars battles you always imagined playing.”

As expected, Star Wars: Battlefront will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 17. Players who pre-order the game will receive early access to the Battle of Jakku expansion, which takes place after Return of the Jedi. “The pivotal moment when the New Republic confronted key Imperial holdouts on a remote desert planet in the Outer Rim” will be available to all as a free download on December 8. But players who pre-order the game will get it a week earlier on December 1.

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Daily Scoop: April 17, 2015 – Come see us at Philly GamesCon!

Anthony Amato and I have been hard at work on our card game since the Kickstarter campaign ended, and everything’s been super busy! That extends to this weekend, when we’ll be spending some time at Philly GamesCon. Stop by, say hi, and try out Kobolds and RESISTOR_!

The Humble Mobile Bundle 11 is full of Android exclusives and has a few days left. You can pay what you want for Bounden, Auro, and Avernum: Escape from the Pit. Beat the average to unlock 80 Days, Kingdom Rush Origins Premium Edition, Riddick: The Merc Files, Oh My Giraffe, and Skullpogo.

There’s a brand new Daily Deal over at Steam today. You can nab Eador: Masters of the Broken World for $2.99. You can also pick up the Allied Forces DLC for just an extra $0.59.

Finally, let’s get to today’s t-shirts.

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Ultra Street Fighter IV will be released for PS4 on May 26

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Capcom and Sony Computer Entertainment have announced (via the PlayStation Blog) that Ultra Street Fighter IV will be released for the PS4 on May 26.

Sony’s Gio Corsi reconfirmed that the new-generation version of Ultra Street Fighter IV will include all of the previously released downloadable content as well as a fix for the input lag that plagued the PS3 version. The consolemaker is also touting the PS4 edition as “the ultimate version on any platform,” so I wouldn’t expect any kind of Super Mega Hyper Extra-Ultra Edition to launch ahead of Street Fighter V next year.

Speaking of Street Fighter V, it’s still on track for a Spring 2016 release, exclusively on the PS4 and PC.

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Xbox Store Today: We Are Doomed, Goat Simulator

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Are we doomed? I think we’re doomed.

But maybe all isn’t lost. Maybe we can start playing We Are Doomed, which is available to download for the Xbox One through the Xbox Games Store as of today, and make everything good again with the twin-stick shooter’s “pure arcade action” and “beautiful explosion of geometry, color, and light.”

If you’d prefer something that’s a little more earthbound, but possibly even more insane, Coffee Stain Studios and Double Eleven have added Goat Simulator to the Xbox Games Store for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. “You no longer have to fantasize about being a goat,” say the developers, and all the goat-based destruction you could ever want is now available to download on your Xbox of choice (except for the original Xbox, obviously).

More information on both games can be found after the break.

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Posted in News, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged ,

Rock Band 4 will support older Rock Band and Guitar Hero instruments

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When Harmonix announced Rock Band 4, they promised that it would be a “back to basics” experience that gamers with a closetful of plastic instruments would instantly recognize. Thankfully, the developer is making sure those instruments will work with their new rhythm game.

Speaking to Business Insider, Harmonix’s Daniel Sussman said that Rock Band 4 will support as many legacy instruments as possible: “We’re planning to support everything that we can: That includes all of the old Rock Band controllers, and all the old Guitar Hero controllers.”

Sussman further explained that Harmonix is doing this out of respect for the original investment players made in these instruments five years ago:

“Our position is really all about respect for our consumers and for the money that they have spent to get into the game space in the first place. They spend a fortune on games: on consoles, on hardware, and we’re sensitive to that. We play those games too. We buy all the same stuff. A world where you need to have three different guitars and two drum sets and all this stuff is…we don’t want to support that world.”

Guitar Hero Live will use a new six-button guitar controller that departs significantly in style from the instruments that came before. If possible, Sussman and his team plan to support it in Rock Band 4 too.

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Halo: Spartan Strike was quietly released today for Windows 8, iOS devices

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After discovering a variety of major bugs in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Microsoft and 343 Industries pushed the release of Halo: Spartan Strike, a twin-stick spinoff, from December 2014 to “early 2015.” Today, the game was quietly released for the PC (via Steam), Windows 8 tablets and PCs, iOS devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad), and Windows Phone 8. Halo: Saprtan Assault, which was originally released in 2013, also makes its iOS debut today as part of the Halo: Spartan Bundle.

Developed by Vanguard Games, Xbox Wire says Spartan Strike takes place during Halo 2 and serves as a training ground for Spartan soldiers:

Halo: Spartan Strike tells a compelling new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. As a Spartan supersoldier in a classified ONI simulation, delve into 30 challenging missions while leading UNSC troops through cities and jungles with an all new arsenal of weapons, abilities and vehicles.

Players who advance through Halo: Spartan Strike’s Achievements will be able to unlock an exclusive Emblem, Nameplate, and Avatar in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. So I guess it’s got that going for it.

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Battlefield Hardline pulls off a heist to become best-selling game of March 2015

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Hey, have you heard of this Bloodborne game? I hear its pretty popular and that Sony’s got a bonafide hit on their hands. It even sold more than a million copies. For all the acclaim Bloodborne has received and all the copies it surely has sold, the game was topped in last month’s NPD rankings by Battlefield Hardline. Developed by Visceral Games, Battlefield Hardline is a cops-and-robbers spin on the Battlefield series and it, not Bloodborne, managed to become the best-selling game of March 2015.

That said, nearly every game of note managed to crash the top ten last month including Mario Party 10 (#4), MLB 15: The Show (#6), Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (#9), and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (#10). Nintendo’s Code Name: STEAM was the only other March release that seemed like it might have enough juice to reach the top ten, but it was pushed out by Grand Theft Auto V (#3), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (#5), and other returning heavy hitters.

The NPD Group (via Game Informer) used this new release drought to explain why March 2015’s game sales were down 6% from the same month a year ago. NPD’s Liam Callahan was also quick to point out that March 2014 saw the release of two very well-received games in TitanFall and InFamous: Second Son. Callahan also confirmed that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One for another month.

March 2015’s top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break.

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