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Can Too Much Hype Kill a Good Game's Reputation?
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Hyped games is a sore subject right now after the release of No Man's Sky, a game universally agreed to be over hyped… but is it a bad game? That's hard to tell right now and is something we'll have to judge for ourselves after the dust has settled. Instead, let's take the time to view how it has affected other games in the past. Although I do have my own opinion (both good and bad) on the games mentioned in this article, I'll be sticking closely to the subject... Does too much hype and bad reviews that come as a result, kill a game's potential to grow a deserving fan base?


DUKE NUKEM FOREVER

First of all we have Duke Nukem Forever, development started in 1996 by 3D Realms and after many promotional announcements, 3D Realms made it clear in 2001 that the game would just be released when it was ready and no sooner, a new video was released in 2007 but nothing was heard until 2010 when development switched to Borderlands devs, Gearbox. Finally releasing in 2011 after 15 years of development.




1996's Duke Nukem 3D had by this point a massive fanbase and a true sequel to the classic caused a lot of hype, but since release DNF has won multiple 'worst game' rewards and is considered by many as one of the worst AAA titles ever released. However, after the release smoke had cleared there's many who claim to enjoy the game for what it is.


WATCH_DOGS

Next we have Watch_Dogs, a Grand Theft Auto like free roam game with future hacking tech surrounding most of the gameplay. Ubisoft had us believe the hacking was a revolutionary feature and E3 had us believe the graphics would be out of this world, neither of which turned out to be particularly true.




Still, the game eventually sold 9 million copies worldwide, a sequel is on its way and it's true that the game successfully separates itself from other games in the genre.


ALIEN: COLONIAL MARINES

Then we have Aliens: Colonial Marines which started development by Check Six Games in 2001 as a PS2 title but was cancelled before release. In 2008 the game was announced to be back in development by Gearbox, after many delays and development troubles the title finally released in 2013 to incredibly poor reviews.



Alien is a very popular franchise both in the movie and gaming industries so the hype was incredibly high for A:CM, especially since PAX and E3 presentations didn't exactly represent the true quality of the final product. Sega was even sued for falsely advertising the game. While the game didn't offer the horror influenced atmosphere and adrenaline fuelled action we're used to from the series, many consider it a decent co-op shooter based in the Alien universe.



Now while two of the above games are developed by Gearbox, I don't think this should be considered the only reason these games have such a low reputation, Gearbox is responsible for the Brothers in Arms franchise, a few of the original Half-Life expansions and the hugely popular Borderlands series, so aren't known to make only bad games.

There are other games that don't live up to their pre-release hype but still have passionate fans, could this mean the games are still great so retain fans for reasons separate to what the game was hyped for, or are these just the lucky ones that were able to push through the negative response that surrounded their launch.




FABLE

The lead designer of all 3 Fable titles Peter Molyneux is known for over hyping his projects and the Fable games in particular. Many exaggerations and outright lies have been quoted after release of games in the series and opinion on Molyneux's intentions is split between naïve enthusiasm or innocent passion to make the games better than possible and intentionally deceiving fans to drive sales.




However the Fable franchise has displayed a huge fanbase since the very first title and is considered one of Microsoft's greatest exclusives. The Fable universe has spawned many spinoff titles including Fable: The Journey, Fable Heroes, Fable Pub Games, Fable Coin Golf, the cancelled Fable Legends and the upcoming Fable Fortune.


DESTINY

Ex-Halo devs Bungie started development on their new IP with Activision in 2010 and the hype for this game was unreal, advertised as an expansive MMO sci-fi shooter and sold as an experience like no other, Destiny released like a mashup of many genres but mastering none of their mechanics. Serious lack of a story, an incredibly scaled back MMO experience and a very grinding end game left many wondering why Destiny had been the success it was.




Despite failure to live up to the hype, sales of Destiny according to Activision make it the most successful new gaming franchise of all time, boasting more than 25 million unique players in November 2015. Destiny evidently still has a massive fanbase.


DIABLO III

Blizzard don't make bad games, we all know that. But Diablo III at release was their most disappointing of all. Sequel to 2000's Diablo II, development on the third instalment began in 2001 but was only announced in 2008, finally hitting shelves in 2012. Releasing with a flawed real money auction house, always online single player, low replayability and a grinding end game, many felt the game wasn't what fans had waited 12 years for.




The game launched as and remains the fastest selling game of all time despite its flaws and since release of the Reaper of Souls expansion the game has massively improved and in 2014 announced a total of 15 million sales and 1 million daily players.



Some of these still retain a modest fanbase, but my question to you is are they the lucky ones who got through the storm alive or does over-hype backlash affect all games the same and the ones that pull through are that games that truly have something special to offer?
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