Game Releases and Media Marketing

Pokemon X and Y are being released this Saturday (October 12th) and I am super stoked! It’s the first 3DS installment for the main franchise, adding a huge number of new features. Later this year will be the releases of games like CoD: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed 4, Super Mario 3D World, and many more (especially with the upcoming releases of the Xbox One and PS4).

Unfortunately with so many releases of different games for multiple platforms, there tends to be a huge influx of leaks, marketing coverage, and speculation. A few stores in Canada and Italy accidentally released their copies of Pokemon X and Y early, allowing the internet to become flooded full of information for a game that most still had to wait over a week to try themselves.

This isn’t exclusive to the game industry either. Every time I walk into a theater I am bombarded by trailers for upcoming movies and TV shows. With The Legend of Korra Book 2: Spirits, there are weekly clips of the upcoming episodes.¬†Yet, it seems to me like many of the trailers show almost too much of the content, and if the plot of an entire movie can be deciphered from just 1-2 minutes of footage what is left to experience?

So with the upcoming release of Pokemon X and Y, I find myself constantly evading links to spoilers, game footage, and even bad screenshots of the 3DS display, in hopes that on release day I will experience the game truly for the first time. Maybe part of this is the nostalgia of a time when spoilers were not so common, often just heard by word of mouth.

Even as true as that may be, I believe it is in the best interests of the creators of books, movies, games, and other media to try and keep that sense of wonder in their audience. Tease them, show them just the tip of the iceberg. Let them experience the creation first hand (and convince them to buy the product to do so).

No one keeps secrets about new game releases quite like Valve.