Apply Respect and Reason to the Gaming Hype Cycle

The announcement of the Indie World presentation for Nintendo Switch (airing at 5pm UK time today, Tuesday 18th) and some of the discussion around it, has made me want to put down in words how I hope we can be more reasonable about the expectations we have of game companies. So bear with me for this – people reading this may well not be the ones making harsh demands online, but it is a message I would like to put out there into the world. Additionally, I’m not going to be calling people out or giving individual examples, as I think that just stokes more conflict and gives oxygen to negative thoughts.

It’s been a very unsettling year, and for many of us, various forms of entertainment have been an escape from that. What I am saying is that I realise we’re all yearning for that familiar structure of how we go about our lives, and in the specific gaming sense, for that cycle of hype reveal to game release. With no E3 this year, that fell apart, and led to companies going their own separate ways on how they revealed news about their games, additionally compounded by them being spaced out. I’m there with you; the lack of the closely-packed E3 presentations was keenly felt. Yet, we have to appreciate that we did get reveals, and it has been a great effort from the companies to give us moments such as the reveals of Horizon Forbidden West and Fable for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X respectively. It has been noticeable, though, that Nintendo has been rather quiet.

They have made announcements, for sure; but the format in which they have happened have been markedly different from the way Nintendo has revealed new games in recent years. Paper Mario: The Origami King was suddenly announced via an online press release, with a trailer that – to me – seemed to be ripped out of an E3 video presentation, and we have recently been informed about the upcoming Pikmin 3 Deluxe through the same method. There has been a Nintendo Direct Mini, a Nintendo Treehouse Live, but no production of the style you would have – in that pre-COVID-19 world – expected from them around June-time this year. Of course, this is understandable, as a company as secretive and traditional as Nintendo would, you imagine, be facing many obstacles in this new world of working-from-home and compromised manufacturing processes. It is understandable, yet, the demands and criticism I see online about getting those game announcements are, at times, far from considerate to the situation.

So here is my request. Today, Tuesday 18th, there is an Indie World broadcast. No, it isn’t a Nintendo Direct, and there isn’t going to be news about Metroid Prime 4 or the sequel to Breath of the Wild. That may seem an obvious statement, but from comments I see online about events such as this, some people don’t seem to comprehend the context around the differing video presentations Nintendo puts out. However, there will be news about a bunch of independently-developed games, and I am confident there is going to be several in there that I – and you – are going to be excited about. These are probably going to have development teams with less people than games from, say, Ubisoft or EA, creating awesome, creative pieces of interactive art for you to play and get enjoyment from. Realise that, respect that, and bring an open mind, knowing that those first-party games you’re excited for reveals about? They’re almost certainly going to arrive, but in the meantime there are even more games to surprise you.

Yes, it’s a business, but it’s a business of joyous interactive experiences, and let’s all just be more considerate of the people that are behind it. Shouting about not getting that first-party reveal you’re excited about, and angrily exclaiming about it not having happened yet, isn’t productive and is a disservice to the content they are putting in front of you today. You’re allowed to be disappointed about the relative lack of currently-known upcoming Nintendo first-party games, but there is a way to express that that isn’t hurtful to others. It’s about managing expectations; an Indie World video is clearly not the place for those first-party games, but in contrast, it’ll let us know that when we do get a Nintendo Direct announcement, that is going to be the platform for those.

That is my hope! Also, to change track a bit, if you asked me for hopes for the Indies World itself? I would be excited to see more of CrisTales, which I enjoyed playing at EGX last year, and a surprise collaboration in the style of Cadence of Hyrule could be fun! A prediction I shall make is that my list of games to play is going to get even more extensive, haha!

My intention here is not to lecture, but just to offer my opinion on how the gaming community can be a more positive environment. Have a great day!

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