Thank you, Hi-Fi Rush, for exempting us from video game marketing

screenshot: Hi Fay Rush

Hi Fay RushConcept-based game Pure joyLast week was notable for two things. One, It’s really really good! And second, it achieved that rarest video game feat: a surprise release hit.

By surprise, I mean utter surprise. One minute nobody even knew the game FoundAfter that it was available to download and play on Xbox and PC. In this, the year of our Lord 2023, how often does that happen…for anything? Anywhere? Never, that is how many times!

As a result, the game doesn’t feel like a breath of fresh air, it feels like a storm is blowing off our feet, and while I don’t want to discount any aspect of the game itself when talking about its success, let’s be honest here: this game feels very fresh not only because it’s a great game. , but because it hasn’t been dried for 12 months through a lengthy marketing campaign.

What I’m going to say here is not meant to belittle anyone who works in video game marketing: you have jobs doing video game sales, and in the vast majority of cases that involve people who do a very good job. Whether it’s putting together massive trailers or just chatting with (potential) fans on social media, it’s a tough job and I totally understand and empathize with it in most cases, especially since the system they work by – selling games on Storefronts are obsessed with pre-orders and wish lists –asks for it.

But I am not responsible for doing a single ad campaign. I, like you, are on the receiving end thousands Them, all at once, are everywhere we look. From previews on big sites to YouTube to Twitter to Discord, anyone interested in online video games is under siege from the second we log in to the second we log out. Here’s a thing, pre-order it Learn more about this thing, pre-order it.

I’ve covered this in death blood Previously cut epic, but video game marketing always has a certain predictability. Not in terms of specific aspects of their campaign — obviously, an AAA movie has a different marketing budget than a small indie release — but in the way it can often guarantee to leave us feeling overwhelmed.

It is not enough to show us the world of the game, its genre and premise. We should be told the backstory of each main character. Show an explanation of lore to the world. We’re told how many lines of dialogue are in the script, how many thousands of hours it might take to finish, and who each voice actor is. We are conditioned, and in many cases expect, by the time of release, to be fans of a game we haven’t played yet. Which, of course It’s the whole point.

Image for the article titled Thank you, Hi-Fi Rush, for coming out of nowhere

screenshot: Hi Fay Rush

Imagine, instead of appearing out of nowhere, Hi Fay Rush I was subjected to a traditional Bethesda marketing campaign. The image you saw was revealed at the December 2021 Game Awards, its bright light dimmed by the weight of the larger and more expensive games unveiled side by side. Imagine being exposed to Chai’s worst lines as part of a character reveal trailer on YouTube, instead of warming up to the Fry-From-Futurama– Subtle magic over the opening hours of the game. What if instead of the game being able to get a lot of joy revealing its team and the world on its own terms, we were actually spoiled for it by the Meet Project Armstrong documentary?

It would suck! The game itself would have still been great, of course, but much of the fun of discovery that accompanied its release, a buzz on the modern schoolyard, would have been lost. To be clear, as I’ve already said, I’m not saying any of this to shame any particular factor, studio, or agency involved in the marketing of any other video game. Trees are not the problem here. It’s the jungle.

Which makes Hi Fay Rush Very special. It is one of the only games that can get away with this. Note that I’m not calling for an end to video game marketing here, or saying more games should try this, because the former would be pointless (it’s a big jungle!) and the latter would be reckless advice. as much as Hi Fay Rush It looks like a remastered GameCube game, and unlike anything else out there, it was developed by a famous AAA studio and published by Bethesda, and then released on Xbox Game Pass so that people can try it out for free. He was fortunate in being perhaps the only possible combination of style, scope, and proportions he could even attempt this, let alone hope to get away with.

So I do not want to say Hi Fay Rush must be Example. I just want to say that we should all cherish this game for what it is, and how it came to us, because either way, the circumstances are as perfect as we hoped they would be, and we may never see them line up like this again. Surprises are great, but few are like a good video game surprise.

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