Friday, November 14, 2008

False Advertising

Here's Mad World:

And here's Prince of Persia's GREAT but (I think) totally misrepresentative trailer. The bullshit flies off the chart at 3:30...check it:

NOTE: And before anyone posts- yes I KNOW the job of advertising is to evoke feelings in the potential customer. BUT usually those feelings are somewhat tied to what the actual product has a potential shot at evoking. Buy a sexy sports car and you VERY WELL MAY feel like a bad ass for a while. So it makes sense to sell me the car with an ad that stimulates that feeling. But attaching a desirable feeling to a product that in no way has a shot in hell at evoking that particular feeling? That's dishonest and lame and- worst to me- disrespectful to our great medium. ESPECIALLY when the product in question already evokesperfectly desirable feelings that can be used to sell the game (i.e. sell me Gears by promising I get to be a bad ass mother fucker...that's honest).

SECOND NOTE: And where the fuck is the gaming press in calling us out on all our bullshit? It's not that I want to be called a liar- cause again, I'm guilty of this shit too- BUT our games- as an INDUSTRY- get BETTER when we get called on bullshit and are forced to do better with each swing at the bat. Instead, most of the press seems to get all fanboy geekout over this shit and they should be holding our feet to the damn fire about it. And if there is a game journalist out there that is calling 'foul' on this, I am not aware. But I apologize in advance if I was not aware of you.

THIRD NOTE: One thing I should consider is perhaps this is a way to bring non gamers into the fold. They come expecting a certain experience that they are comfortable with and then get into gaming. Hard to sell a non gamer on some of the gamey things games do so well unless they know how cool it is...and perhaps this is a good way to trick them into taking a game for a test drive that they never would. It's still lying and I hate it and think it disrespects what we do. And I think gamers- who are gonna show up for the great gameplay either way- should at least not be so easily swayed. But I can see the point- if that is indeed the case- about bringing in the non gamers...

Great weekend ya'll!



resident UA said...

Agree. That Gears of War trailer really pissed me off. And what pissed me off even more was that EVERYONE like that trailer. It didn't help that I did not really like first Gears of War either.I do not care about them using the song, but that song is the ONLY reason that trailer was "SO GOOD." It had nothing to do with the game.
P.S. Gears2 is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, David! Obviously, having not played Prince of Persia yet, I can't fully affirm your comment about that. I do, however, remember being up in arms about the MAD WORLD trailer. Now, let me say, I loved the trailer in and of itself, but it was in no way, shape, or form representative of the final product. "Eat shit and die" vs "a grown, burly man holding a broken down statue crying"? Certainly not representative and false advertising in every way.

Sam said...

I've been coming to this site for a long time now and I've never been compelled to comment particularly but I have to this time because you hit the nail right in the head.

What I would say though it this: perhaps inamongst all this false advertings is a wish to advance gaming to a more emotionally involving, mature and artistic field, a wish that, like you, I am fully backing.

The problem is that it is a huge risk to attempt to do this in the game itself, and I imagine very difficult without sacrificing the core gameplay; but it is a far smaller risk to put this edge onto their advertising and see how people respond to that.

The short term effect is that some people feel short-changed about the lack of this emotional connection in the actual game.

But the long term effect, as I see it, or at least hope for in this, is that developers are clearly very interested in how many more people would be interested in games if this stuff was present more often.

I do completely agree that is is false advertising, but I just think that there is a glimmer of hope within that.

lb003g0676 said...


I posted on Youtube normally, but decided to come here to post instead.

I am completely adverse to what you're saying.

That Madworld trailer is what made Gears a success, I would swear my life on it. Sure it doesn't make the game itself good, and I really didn't enjoy Gears 1, but it did it's job.

It shocks me Sony can never get their fucking act together, because there are games out there that could sell shitloads, if they actually fucking advertised it, with a bit of pretense.

It's all it requires, a little bit of pretense.

And ICO? Well I totally disagree, there's so much more to that game, that (and I can't believe I am saying this to David Jaffe) isn't how a normal game is made.

Shadow of the Colossus moreso, because so much is alternative about it.

Hope you read this shit :D

lb003g0676 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This actually reminds me of the Halo 3 advert. Alot of people were congratulatig, and i know one person claiming it's probably one of the best advert's made, but i really didn't understand what was spectacular about it. I've never play Halo's SP, I've enjoyed playing the MP and it was extremely fun. But so far I've seen two trailers aiming to make the viewer "catch feelings" as if the story has some deep and depressing story-line. I'll rserve my judgment on both of these game when i actually get round to playing it. But what i've seen so far (on SP) doesn't represent the trailer like you said. I'd be thankful if someone can explain it for me.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I just remembered, Jaffe make sure you get to see the Japanese version of Resistance 2 trailer. It's a perfect example. :D

Anonymous said...

Hey David nice post!
I agree with you, these are false advertising,when I first saw the one for prince of persia I was like WTF? Is this some fan trailer or what?
But you know many people only actually care about doing some money, and the truth is, for casual players, trailers like this can be VERY VERY persuasive, even if they are false.

By the way man, I do digital painting, and since I'm such a fan of you, I'm gonna paint a God of War fan picture dedicated to you and your work! I will link it to you when I have it done!

Cheers, take care.

Anonymous said...

Hey, David! Sorry for the kinda unrelated post, but I was always curious... do you know any foreign languages? If you happen to know some, could you tell us something about it? 'Cause it's kinda interesting to me, whether it's important in Game Designer's career to know other languages or is it totally useless (if you wanna be GD) as long as you can work using your mother tongue? Thanks a bunch for a reply... in advance! :)

grasshopper said...

I prefer false advertisement to every shooter game having heavy metal blasting in their ads. Thats what you would get otherwise.
I liked the Mad World trailer its song of choice didnt bother me one bit...but then again I like playing calm music during shooters a lot.

Anonymous said...

This post reminded me a lot of the Halo 3 "Believe" trailer. I love the trailer, but in no way do I ever get the same feeling I did from it in the actual game. Here is the trailer

da criminal said...

Yeah, I love certain trailers as well. I think the MAD WORLD trailer is great. But it comes down to- for me- am I judging it as a piece on its own (in which case it's great) or am I judging it as an ad to get me to part with my money. Judging as an ad, it fails. And seeing some responses to this post on the net today makes me realize a lot of folks have a hard time seeing the difference between the two. You can love the Prince of Persia trailer- as I do- but also think it does a shitty, disrespectful job at being an ad. At least that's what I think...

grasshopper said...

To me though...its like those print ads that are totally black or white with just a logo and date. Its not trying to tell you what it is, just that it exists. Like Sonys PS3 ad's with the creepy laughing baby. As a ad explaining what it is, its totally useless...but its just trying to let you know its out there.

I see your point...and maybe if I didn't already know what the game was from the press I would be pissed. But all ads are fake in a way. Movie trailers are cut to appear more actiony than they really are. Indy 4 was cut in a way that made it appear to be a good movie.

It sucks that the ones that lie the most seem to get their job done the best. But I think in most cases if they did a ad representative of the final product they wouldn't be able to air it on TV

Anonymous said...

I heard that, it pisses me off that game developers whine about how expensive creating games can be, yet they throw money away creating CG trailers. Totally worthless.

MvmntInGrn said...

The only part I really didn't follow on was on ICO.

Just because something is easy to implement and just a flip of the switch doesn't mean it doesn't add something or heighten the experience. The "Ethereal Bullshit" in ICO is one of the things players associate with it the most. Easy to do? sure; but there are plenty of people who think of ICO and its atmosphere before its storytelling.

As far as false advertising, yea the Mad World trailer is too much. The Gears 2 trailer is just as bad in my opinion. Hard to blame them though, with such a massive fanbase they don't need to advertise to (they know when gears 2 is coming) they have a better chance of bringing in new sales with this heart felt BS then with a gory commercial.

Prince of Persia is a bit different. With Gears the trailers annoyed me because when you actually put the game in, it isn't even trying to project the feeling in the trailers. Like you said you haven't played the new one to the end but a few of the new Prince of Persia trailers seem to be striving for this feeling, won't be able to tell if it is really there til you beat the game though. I don't think the story will have enough depth to pull the feeling off but maybe it'll surprise.

lb003g0676 said...

Too much ICO hating

Awesome game!

MvmntInGrn said...

@ lb003g0676

No hating, just discussion.

Anonymous said...

amen, man! those trailers make me feel more conflicted than anything. i mean the trailers are great, but there's always the thought that the game won't live up to what this trailer sets up. but the thing people say about how the advertising department are just trying to sell the game to casual gamers isn't COMPLETELY true. that "beyond the sea" trailer for bioshock did exactly what the "mad world" trailer did, but it actually evoked the same feel the game was about. same with that awesome "movie trailer" for metal gear solid 4. so, i don't think that prince of persia trailer or the new "last days" trailer are justified when bioshock and mgs4 do it better.

GrYnder McDuff! said...

If you look at the characters in Gears of War, and you listen to the presented lyrics of Mad World, they make sense.

Of course the gameplay of Gears ITSELF shows none of the emotions present in the song or it's lyrics. But being someone fighting in a seemingly unwinnable war, the lyrics in that commercial make some sense.

GrYnder McDuff! said...

Of course, I am agreeing with you. The game play of Gears shows none of the emotional elements this commercial presents.

I'm just saying, the lyrics match the theme of war.

Anonymous said...

Jaffe, you know that developers have very little control over advertising, right? That's all up to the publisher. That said, I liked the Mad World trailer at first, but then I realized I liked the song more than I liked the trailer. Yet, it sort of fits the game: he's in a depressing world in the trailer, and in the game. And that's where the similarities end.

In the trailer, he's depressed that the world is messed up, but in the game, he's tearing apart the creatures that messed up the world! And there's no gameplay in the trailer! WTF?

As for the Prince of Persia trailer, that video felt more like a cheesy infomercial than a trailer. But that doesn't mean the game won't be great!

Jaffe, you're definitely right about advertising making games into something they're not. Just reading the back cover of a game can be false advertising, and that should not solely influence you on whether you buy a game or not. Yet, I'll bet some uninformed parent out there does exactly that, unfortunately, when they buy games for their kids.

Great post, Jaffe!

lb003g0676 said...

People trying to justify Gears 'Madworld' in terms of an art form, outside of superb 'marketing as an art form' are just stupid.

It's wasted, and wrong.

The game is not at all fitting with the song.

Stafa said...

Jaffe, I completely agree with you. I was having this exact conversation a few days ago. Why the fuck is Mad World on the Gears trailer? What they should be doing is having a trailer with lots of action, some heavy music like Megadeath's Duke Nukem them. THAT is a representative of Gears, not something that's suppose to give a sense of emotion that's completely not even in the game.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think the Gears of War advertisements are that mis-representative. Their just showing a different perspective to view the game from other then one based solely around the game play. I mean, if you look at the Gears of War story, it's really tragic and so the song does fit with it. Yea its true the song contrasts greatly with the game-play, but I like how it captures the vibe of the story, and that's something a lot of players like myself focus on a lot, and something that really helps to immerse you into the game more. some people may be only thinking about how to kill their enemies while playing,but I personally like to actually think of myself on a noble quest to save humanity!

Anonymous said...

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that, there a lot of different ways to view a game.

da criminal said...

deometris- I would agree with you if the story telling in the game reflected the same tone and sensibilities as the MAD WORLD ad...I am not opposed to marketing the story aspect of a game. I am opposed to marketing the story aspect in a game incorrectly. The MAD WORLD trailer tells you perhaps what the writer of GEARS OF WAR WANTED the game to make you feel like. But the game itself- story included- didn't make anyone I ever heard about feel that sense of melancholy ,sadness , and reflection.

Anonymous said...

hey, sorry for the semi-late reply just noticed your reply, in case you were waiting/expecting or something.

Anyways, I thought the story for the game was pretty sad, as I said in my initial post. You lose everything you've ever held dear to you..besides your gun..and need to fight in a seemingly futile battle to fend off savage aliens. This story definitely made me feel sadness, and hopelessness and made me feel as if i was in the role of a despair ravaged soldier fighting because that's all I can do, with that despair partly motivating me to fight, making it all the more satisfying. And I think the song really helped capture that feeling, one example from it being, "all around me nothing but unfamiliar faces".

Maybe your view of the game, represents how the majority view it, and in that case you probably make a good point, but for me personally, I really thought the song suited the game because of the story and the way I viewed myself when playing the game.

Anonymous said...

Btw, I meant to say, MAINLY fighting because that's all you can do, and then being partly motivated by despair, and etc.

Also, yea now that I think about it, what I;m saying isn't too logical really cause the Gears of War main character isn't really what I described. I just really liked the whole setting and really desired to feel connected to it I guess, and what I said is at least partly true about him.

Anonymous said...

I ACTUALLY LOVED THE PRINCE OF PERSIA TRAILER, LOOKED AMAZING THE FIRST TIME... POP is gonna be my holiday game for christmas how about u?

Man im really hyped about it, one of the most original games to be released this year (yes, more original than gears!)

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Games that do have emotional content don't have to talk about it.. they just do it. COD4's SP campaign represented this for me, personally... I got pretty close to hopelessness/helplessness there... with gears 1 or 2 there was never a moment that I thought Fenix and his crew wouldn't come out on top.

Unknown said...

Do a degree I think you're right, but I also think you may be expecting too much.

These are just like movie trailers. They're job is to whet your appetite and compel you to watch the movie. All movie trailers are good and yet not all movies are good. They hint at what you want, just enough, so to reel you in.

Now it may be because you work in this industry, but I didn't hear the vehemence in your voice after you watched this summer's Indy and it didn't deliver.

As far as the PoP trailer, for me, it's just an attempt to tell me there's a real story here behind the game play. You've played part of the game, and I have not, but what you did was likely just game play. I doubt they really gave you any real slice of the story at that time. So we're already accusing a game none of us has truly played, of having false advertising when we could very well find ourselves caring about these characters.

I will admit that the new PoP is the first game in quite a while that has me interested due to story, game play and look of the game. I looked at that trailer and said "man I can't wait for December," but we all see things differently.

Brice Gilbert said...

As someone else mentioned here the games that created the most emotional impact for me never advertised it. Mainly because I think it would spoil the impact. COD4 (not the most amazing, but still surprising), MGS4, Shadow of the Colossus never really advertised the way that you see Gears and Prince of Persia doing. To be fair though PoP is trying to evoke Shadow and ICO. Maybe it will turn out to be very emotional.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you're saying, except I think most people talk about Ico being artistic because the central mechanic of having to lead the princess by the hand by holding down a button provokes an emotional reaction, even thoughts about isolation and companionship. What more can you ask from a work of art? I don't think people talk about Ico so much in terms of the environmental sound effects.

da criminal said...

Well as I said, I LOVE ICO.

In my top 5 games of all time, maybe top 3- kind of lame to havea top 5 but hey, I do :)

And I agree, the part you reference IS a path into the game's artistry.

The sounds of wind and the washed out colors- while nice and moody (which I love) does not make it a game with anything to say.

Altho perhaps it does SUPPORT the sense of isolation that the core plahy mechanic does perhaps on ICO I mispoke because even that aspect of the game seems to buttress the core artistic message and thus- maybe- becomes part of the art itself. Ico then gets to use MAD WORLD in an ad :)

I have decreed!

But not Gears or Prince :)


Anonymous said...

Well, the Prince of Persia one actually had in-game footage in it. As a game designer, player, and consumer, that's what I'm most interested in. I honestly don't care for the music and don't feel like that's such a big deal if you can still get a sense of what the game is like.

Anonymous said...

Okay, reaching in my pocket and throwing...the bullshit flag.

Advertising is just that, advertising. We didn't get some carzy song trailer for God of War but I DID get Gaia's gentle voice and Kratos's angry narrative/story over his commercial. Did it make me want to run out and grab the game? Hell yes it did. Was I dissapointed in GOW ass kickery? No.

The Mad World trailer for Gears was great and at some levels it did represent the game play. You play that game on Insane and watch wave after wave come after you and I guarantee you'll feel dread.

Same thing with the new Prince. That trailer is meant to relay the goodness that is the combo gameplay of the two main characters. You can't play the game without each other and your success is dependant on how well you use their skills and linking them together for combat, exploration.

I never see the gametrailer as the selling of the game so mauch as another piece of the game. Sure the trailer can be great and the game suck, and vice versa (see the Ico argument). But...there are PLENTY of people who wouldn't have bought Gears or Halo but after seeing the trailers ran right out and bought a copy. The songs may contrast with the game-play, but they do a great job and relaying the SENSE of the story. And until videogames get the immersive movie-like gameplay that our dear Mr. Jaffe has been wanting to do for years then a great trailer is the best we're gonna get.


da criminal said...

Yeah but Dutch, my point is not that I don't think these are good trailers.

My point is you are being LIED to and bamboozled and worst off, you are DEFENDING the people who take YOUR MONEY's right to do it! :)

I loved Gears, and like I said, have loved pretty much every POP game since I played the first on my old mac back in the day.

But come on, you really think BREATH ME by SIA is meant to convey the PLAY MECHANIC of the new POP?

That's not what I get at all. I get that it's trying to make me feel that this game is some sort of emotional, meaningful experience that has something to say about love and humanity and struggle Great! If a game can do that that, I'll be first in line to buy it!

Meantime- unless this POP is different than the last 20 Pops- they should advertise the product: the GAMEPLAY and graphics and even the cut scenes. Tell me what is in the fucking box and what that experience is like before I drop 60 bucks on it.

As for GOD OF WAR, well, we were advertising the emotion of the game: anger and passion. I don't feel it's incorrect to say when you play GOW, those feelings come out in the player or- even if they don't- are frequently on display on the face/tone/dialogue of the main character.

If the presentation of POP- cut scenes, menus, interface, character of the prince- IS INDEED ultra emo then cool. Like I said, I only played the demo- and LOVED IT- at Comic Con and none of that was on display. But it was a great demo, for sure!

But I played Gears and am playing Gears 2 right now and for me, it's a hell of a stretch to get the MAD WORLD feel out of that game.

Now- all that said- wait for Flower. THAT game- for me- could star in an ad with emo music like BREATH ME and MAD WORLD and I'd be like: yep, makes good sense to me.

Nice to see you on the blog again- Dutch. Hope you're well. Eager to play the new Clancy but I gotta find my mic! It's floating around my office somewhere...


Anonymous said...

What do you think about the Dead Space Launch Trailer? Have you seen it? I haven't had the chance to play the game, but watching that trailer really got me wanting to play it. I have seen some trailers before that one but this was the only one that really made me say "Man, I have got to play this game".

Zana Oyakata said...

I do have to say that the PoP trailer fits a little more with the story.

However, they should have done the Mad World trailer with Gears 2 wit Dom crying all the time.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on your falso ad point that trailers should'nt be made like that

dont you think that trailer made you want to know more about the game and so you log on sites and check reviews and ask friends and do a lot of research on the game. So, eventually such trailers make you research so much that you eventually know if the game is good or not.

PS- False advertisments are allowed if you get good reviews for the game

Anonymous said...

Totally off the mark about Ico, David. It's ok. It may grow on you.

But I agree with the rest. Gears and Halo 3 (this is the absolute worst offender I've ever seen) are vapid, shallow and their ads grossly misrepresent them. Gears is a very fun game, so I'd like to see more of that and less of the lousy attempts at emotion and character. The arrogance in using Chopin for something as weak as Halo was astounding. It was a BAD ad, too.

Anonymous said...

Glad to be back El-Jeffe-Jaffe. Been monster busy with and on a ton of travel for work.

I get what your saying. I guess I'm giving consumers credit for realizing that the "trailer of the 21st century" is trying to convey the subtle theme or mood of the game as opposed to how it will actually play. I see them as artistic and one more arrow in the quiver of how a developer can get their idea across about a game.

But you're right, it would be easy to see that commercial as a noob and think I can't wait to play/feel what's in that commercial only to then be totally upset when you see its not representative of the game. That kind of harkens back to the whole "cut scene" controversy though doesn't it? I mean those were supposed to help establish mood and transition through the game and now everyone thinks they're old hat. If done well, and I think the cut scenes in Star Wars Unleashed do a good job, cut scenes can give you that feel you get in the commercial.

I will tell you this...I can't freakin' wait to see what your former employers due with the trailers for GOW 3. Sony is gonna spare no expense at making their version of Mad World/Beautiful Day-like trailers. I can guarantee that!

I can't wait to see what you think about EndWar. I'm proud of it and most everyone I know who's played it is now a fan. I hope to run into on Live so we can do a little battlin'.


maartyrr said...

i guess im a sucker for those cheesey trailers. I had no interest in playing gears 2 until after i saw the trailer

i dont know what it is, but it just draws me in.

but this commercial was a classic <- TM2

then things got weird with this one <-tmblack

and finally, wtf was this about- seriously who came up this one?? <- tm: head on

Anonymous said...

david jaffe god damn u, i understand u can't tell us that the new DIRECTOR for GOD OF WAR 3 is STIG ASMUSSEN, oh i totally understand, but can yu atleast tell us something?!?! ..such as what's it going to be about? or any new info or data about it?

Crossopholis said...

I tend to have a problem with all the "skit" advertisements companies like to do nowadays. They'll show you a stupid live-action clip that has no relevance to the game itself and slap on 3 seconds of gameplay footage at the end. At best these commercials make me laugh, but they NEVER make me want to play the game itself.

Take the Resistance 2 commercials, for example. They're complete garbage. ALL they had to do was show some clips of the Leviathan boss fight and hype the different multiplayer aspects more, and gamers would have been flocking to get it. But no, instead we get jazz like this:

kiwidust said...

I'm torn personally. On one side I could agree and defend everything you've said. However another argument may be more compelling: as advertisments for a game these kinds of trailers may be dishonest, but as _extensions_ of those games perhaps not.

As you've said it's difficult (if not impossible) to evoke a full range of emotion in gameplay. So why not use a medium that does allow for it as an adjudct?

The "Mad World" trailer could be seen as not representing gameplay but rather representing the world in which that gameplay takes place.

Not every game needs to complete a fully fleshed out universe, but some clearly want to (Gears is definately one). Trailers, comics, short stories, novels, etc: they all collectively detail a world that the gameplay can only offer a myopic slice of.

(I would consider the Prince of Persia "Trailer" linked as definately an example of extending the media footprint of the title: at more than five minutes this can't really be considered "just" a trailer.)

For example consider the "Ratchet and Clank" "Wonderful World" trailer. I loved this game and this trailer - not because the trailer represented what the game actually was but rather "positioned" you for the game. Got you pumped up.

The Gears Mad World trailer positioned you as well. No, the game didn't evoke those emotions, but the trailer did (or attempted to) so you had the mindset all the same.

I'm not saying that I agree with this. Let's be honest: most of this is just cross demographic marketing. Just like with movies you have the marketing department ordering the "action" promo, the "dramatic" promo, the "funny" promo and so forth.

But in some cases I do think, giving the benefit of the doubt, there's a directed effort to overcome some of the unfortunate communication problems with games by supplementing them with traditional media material.

At least in these two cases I would think that's exactly what's happening.

Christopher Evans said...

Ok come on.

The prince trailer was all in game assets, from animations, to geometry. Just some music and odd camera work.

There are much worse offenders. This is not 'multimillion-dollar cg' man, there would be less foot slipping, and lerping of character positions (like in god of war) when they enter a combo anim. Not to mention that run cycle...

Anonymous said...

MADWORLD: the trailer was good, song was good the game was good.

PoP: really, i'm amazed you'd go off on a trailer with so much in-game footage. of all the crap spots out there with not a single shot of gameplay, the PoP trailer is the worst offender for misrepresentation because it has a cheesy song under it? come on.

Anonymous said...

David I have to say that while I agree with the POP trailer, the Mad World and the new GOW2 trailers fit perfectly. While GOW1 the story was non existent i feel that the song really played up to how the world as Marcus new it had flipped upside down. Yes it would have been easy for them to add a rock song behind it while they where chainsawing shit up and popping melons left and right, but this trailer was effective. Ive never seen another trailer for games that really got people talking like this one. Even my parents were asking what is this GOW comercial. I'll just call bullshit on the POP now since I can't really see them bringing that one back to connect. As for gaming journalist calling you developers and game designers on these issues it wont happen. For the most part the only place that I know does this is Giant Bomb. I listen to podcast from 1up, gamespot, major nelson, ign, and etc. Giant Bomb pretty much calls it as it is, the others are either too worried that they wont get an exclusive for the mags, or sites that they walk a fine line not to piss of publishers. I think GB is at the size that they are not worrying about that since there isnt money tied back into their reviews, like other journalism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I noticed that all of the Twisted Metal website links on the SCEA site now link to the offical TMHOETE blog.
Do you think you'll be putting up thoe older websites on the blog?
That would be cool.

Other SCEA series like GOW and Ratchet have like a master site that contains info on all the games in those series.

Nice idea.

da criminal said...

My issue is not with if the trailer had in game footage. The POP looks fantastic, by the way.

My issue is not with the quality of the trailer. They are both- to me- GREAT trailers. Some of the best I've seen in games.

My issue is with the trailer misrepresenting the final end product and in doing so, conveying the medium as much further along that it really is. In doing so, it hurts the advancement of games as art/being capable of evoking real emotion. It hurts it because players are pre sold an emotion- not present in the game- that they are told they are supposed to be having with the product. When this happens:

a- some folks get pissed when the 60 dollar game they have purchased doesn't deliver- or come close to delivering on the promise. And why? Because the promise- from the get go- was a lie.
b- some folks are gullible and allow the trailer to effect their emotional response to the game and thus the game makers feel they have achieved more than they actually have without actually having cracked the 'games evoking emotion' nut

I find it odd/ironic/troubling that I- the game maker- am the one attacking some of the more dishonest processes we use to sell you- the consumer- our products. And some of you- the consumesr- are defending the company's rights to be semi-dishonest with you about the actual product we are selling you :)


Christopher Evans said...

I hear yah, but like I said, I feel the POP spot is pretty honest. (as a fellow game maker)

I once tried to get to the bottom of the killzone2 thing from e3 many years ago.

In 2005, they released that 'trailer', some sony people said it was rendered on a ps3. Artists with a good eye knew it wasn't immediately. Sony made comments about it being legit. The gamecritics awarded it best graphics of e3 05

In all reality it was all pre-rendered, taking sometimes over an hour a frame to render and done by a well known animation studio in Scotland.

I contacted said studio ages ago and they legally were unable to comment or even say they worked on it.

So not only did sony perpetrate one of the biggest 'false advertising' campaigns ever. They won best graphics then disallowed the awesome team of artists that created it from getting any recognition or credit, just to hide the lie.

In the following months, as more and more people came out against the practices, the official playstation mag quoted someone at sony saying 'it wasn't realtime, but it was rendered on a ps3 to disk at ~1 frame per sec.' which is a complete and utter lie. It was rendered in a well known 3d package!

Anyway, I hear yah about this 'problem', the above version of it really pisses me off and I think should go down in history for it. 4 years later, they're still scared to release a killzone that can't live up to that video.

A true testament to the hardworking team of artists that created it.

lb003g0676 said...

David I totally disagree, with what you said in your first post here.

I think the advertisement does an awful job of representing the game, and what it's all about. False pretences and all that.

But what stands out is that it's superb advertising, in terms of a great marketing team. They know how to sell the game to customers impressively, even if it's false.

And while I agree it's disgusting, it's how it is in most huge corporations advertisements.

Same goes for Prince of Persia, not only do I think the game is going to be a piece of shit, it actually pretends to be artistic, which sickens me.

Truly it does. That game and it's advertisisng is ALL false.

Rendering cel shading is probably half as difficult as half of the stuff they ahve done in the Scimitar engine, to create new animations and such, it's such a cop out.

lb003g0676 said...

Christopher, seeing the Killzone 2 beta, all is well becuase Sony have delivered the best lookign game on consoles.

And even better, the artistic direction of the damn game... Well it's astounding in comparison to the CG.

Amazingly I prefer what I see now to the CG, just becuase of artistic direction.

Plus, that CG trailer really did not need an artist eye (unless you mean I draw on paper/photoshop, which I do) to see that was bullshit, but it was also a teaser, and not selling it on national TV.

It was a target render.

Anonymous said...

hey dave, cool topic.

I for one love the false advertising. Frankly its super obvious. But what I like about is this;
you know when you work on a project for a long time and its awesome and you totally love what you made. But most people can't appreciate how much time and love you put into it and what it actually means. Well (even though this is probably not true) I like to think that when you put these songs on snipits of the game, its kind of expressing something that the developer feels about the game... not as a video game but as his/her baby, something they devoted countless hours of their life too and that they cherish.

Its like watching memories of a good time in your life with mellow music in the background. I really enjoy it.

maybe its just me.


Anonymous said...

Way to have a melt down over something no-one but console fanboys (like you) give a fuck about. Keep living the dream Jaffe.

beany911 said...

I had to comment on this... I totally agree with the Mad World trailer... I was so hyped about the game I bought and it was nothing like the trailer. Oh and Ico is like my all time favorite game, I don't think they added all that atmospheric type stuff to make the game more "artistic" they did it to make it more ATMOSPHERIC. Which in turn made it more artistic, but whatever. I think when they were working on gears they could've focused more on atmosphere, it probably would have felt like the trailer.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why all these people are commenting like, "yeah, they're bullshit ads but they work! That's how you sell shit."

Is that really what it comes down to? Maybe if you have a stake in the company that's selling it but consumers should be way more demanding. We should be demanding that we get what is advertised. Instead we get all this limp-wristed "well, whatever you gotta to sell your games..."

This is why companies spend so much on advertising as opposed to quality, because they know they can fool the average bum.

Anonymous said...

I agree that these kinds of trailers are misleading, but I enjoy them knowing they don't represent the game play.

ConceptCreature said...

Gosh, if only you were in a position to do something about making a meaningful, emotional, game. OH WAIT, YOU ARE!
I understand you're only saying, "don't misrepresent the game" in the advertising, but I'm interested to see if you'd be able to rise to the challenge of making an in-depth character-driven game that really gives a new gravitas to characters.

Anonymous said...

I think we're already there in terms invoking emotions and having the player emotionally involved with the characters and story. Prime example for this generation would be Metal Gear Solid 4. I mean, one of the most amazing things for me is the amount of closure that the game threw at me. It was so overwhelming that, I'm not ashamed to admit it, I fucking cried. But then again most fans have had the attachment for this franchise for years...
I guess the Final Fantasies are a better example of invoking emotions...
But anyway, personally the BREATH ME prince trailer felt relevant because I felt the that lyrics actually had a form of connection with the relationship of the Prince and Elika...but obviously anyone who hasn't played and finished the game would have no idea if it IS false advertising or not....which sucks.
I must admit that I have fallen victim to false advertising with trailers. It happened with Devil May Cry 4...which turned out to be one shallow experience, and then Gears 1 with the Mad world trailer.
However, I still don't look down upon these trailers that may or may not be actual representations of the actual game because I like to think..or hope... that these games will offer such an emotionally involving experience because I love those type of games...if not, then, oh well move on to the next game.

Anonymous said...

hey david, funny you should put up a video about false advertising. i am currently pissed off with how the media takes the piss with dogging on the ps3, it's games, and the upcoming home. please take a look at this you were on this show once, i would love to hear your thoughts on it. thanks in advance.
BTW, love the blogs, keep it up, you have a new viewer.

Anonymous said...

have any of you ever seen a commercial before?

it's advertising. it's fantasy.

it's a commercial.

move on.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone said it. More game developers need to be more open and honest about video games if the industry is to grow.


Unknown said...

Hey David I found something that might make you want the iphone. Its one of your favorite games ADVENTURE

Anonymous said...

Well, if I remember correctly the director of the original Gears of War advertisement was none other than DAVID FUCKING FINCHER. So that probably explains why its imagery and context are so strong. Its a very well directed little bit. If only we had storytellers/directors like THAT in this industry. Heads would most definitely turn with shit this good in games.

Christopher Evans said...

If anything I would complain that the Gears spots used 4k maps, at least the PoP uses what looks to be ingame assets.

I have no problem with them trying to convey imagery to show off the 'world' or the artistic vision. I felt the Gears spot served to show off the art style, characters, and locations. Though their using the UE3 engine to render the spot at a non-interactive framerate and upping all the textures to create a look that you would never see on a console was misleading.

lb003g0676 said...

tenaciousck, having directors liek that in this industry would do no fucking good.

This is gaming, and sorry to sound like a 'gamign defense force', but it's different.

Let's just wait for Steven Spielbergs games from EA, and watch them be a steamign pile of crap.

Anonymous said...

If Cadbury can get away with using a gorilla on drums or racing airport vehicles to sell chocolate, I say games publishers can use any advertising trick they want. At least these ads are more relevant to the games than PS3's exploding-suitcase-of-money 'This Is Living' launch campaign!

Mike said...

What are you thoughts on the emotional cues and approaches in Metal Gear Solid 4? Have you made any new progress in MGS4, because the beginning is rather slow.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you are fucking right. That is exactly what i was feeling and i thought it was just me going all "kinda of crazy".

It seems like "pretentiousness" sells a bucket load of games.

And I think it's about time developers, like youself, give us something more substantial (something that would be more endearing to our hearts).

P.S: David, i fell for the "ICO" / "Shadow of the Colossus" trick, i thought they were so meaningful. Or they could be ?. Anyway, i enjoyed both games.

Anonymous said...

My issue with this is not about improper advertising. I'm just tired of having to hear depressing music in a commercial that should be about having fun. Realize that all the shows you watch are in a certain target market, so in one hour you are going to see all of these commercials (ME, GOW2, POP, Fallout3) more than once and in their full play time. Going from AOTS to South Park to Adult Swim is like a mine field. Thank God for mute (and legs...). For me music is an intense and emotional experience and we shouldn't be forced into hearing this over and over. Yes, I know, 'Tis The Season... come February it will all be over, or will it? I hate market trends.

John Kelly said...

I hadn't seen the Prince of Persia trailer before now and I'm not really seeing what all the kerfuffle is about. For me, that trailer is just copying a couple of tricks that we're seeing in a lot of movies recently. The initial part of the trailer (pre 3:30) reminded me of the opening of Hellboy 2, where the back-story is presented through the use of string puppets. This was completely at odds with the giant overblown action of the rest of the film, but at the same time, made it seem more mythical than the rest of the movie, which fit the tone perfectly.

The post-3:30 stuff (and the GoW 1+2 trailers) are simply add some gravitas to the action of the game - something you don't even notice while you're playing through the game. You're absolutely right in your video. Yes, you're too busy focusing on how to get to that ledge up there, but when you sit back and look at what you have done up until then, especially when it's presented over a twee little melancholy song, it seems more significant. One movie that I can think does that perfectly is the original My Sassy Girl. Throughout the film, the girl acts like a total dick to this guy. At the end, he starts thinking about her, all those douchy idiosyncratic things she did (while a twee little melancholy j-pop song plays in the background) and suddenly he realizes how much he loves her. It's all about how context changes things.

At least, that's just how I see it. I love Gears of War 2. I love its "Last Days" trailer. Yeah, I'm a little bit disappointed that the game didn't manage to pack the same emotional punch as the trailer (although I was surprisingly touched by the conclusion to the Maria story). But do I feel like the trailer was false advertising? Not at all.

Joel said...

worth noting is the latest


its simply gameplay footage of a particular battle in the game, i dont know that its particularly a boss, but simply an epic-seeming actual fight in the game...

here is the link:

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, just came across your blog this morning and have been reading up on what you have to say. Have to say I agree with everything, so keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

to lb003g0676 I will say one thing: David Fincher. Nuff said. But I would say that film directors, especially ones like Speilberg know how to create an emotive link between viewers and characters. Is that applicable in games? yes and no, but they should still be admired and studied regardless. I mean, you telling me if a developer went to David Fincher for some kind of advise they'd tell him "pssh, what the fuck are you talking about, you go make your benjamin button and I'll go make (fill in the blank)." But I would definately love to see some game with fincher's involvement, though I doubt something like that will ever happen.=(

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