At Least There's A Good Reason I'm Sick Of Hearing About BioShock Infinite

I am sick to death of hearing about BioShock Infinite. It's become one of those games, like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, that I've been hearing about for so long that the more I hear, the more it sounds like white noise.

Juggling video game press announcements can be a tricky thing. Announce a game too late (ie, too close to its release) and it might not have enough time to generate awareness. Announce it too early, though, and you run the risk of hitting a wall, your game running out of steam before it's actually released.

That's where I'm at with Infinite (to be fair, I'm at that point with many games, but we're just talking about BioShock here!). It looks cool, and I was excited to see it when it was first shown off, but the more I see the more I grow tired of seeing it. Every new scrap of information - and really, most of the information to date has been in the form of meaningless scraps, like showing off enemies in individual releases - works in reverse, sucking away my excitement for the game rather than generating it.

It's death by a million PR papercuts.

If you feel the same, about Infinite or any other game, you should at least know this: it's not always the fault of poor marketing. It can sometimes just be a result of "external factors".

"We probably would have announced it later, but we were worried about it leaking", Irrational boss Ken Levine tells GI.biz. "We had a nice unintentional head fake, everyone thought we were working on this X-Com game, but we weren't. It wasn't what people expected. Without our presentation, people would have gotten the wrong message about [BioShock Infinite], it would have been confusing."

"I would have announced it significantly later if I wasn't worried about that. We had this external factor."

OK, so they wanted the official announcement to beat a leak. I understand. I don't agree, though. Leaks, even the most convincing ones, are never the same as official announcements, because there's always the risk they're either fake or will later be edited or even scrapped.

An official reveal, though, with trailers and screens and info, gets the ball rolling. And in Infinite's case, it got it rolling too soon.

Ken Levine on why games get "overexposed" before release [GI.biz]


Comments

    Yeah, I know what you mean. The last thing I heard from the devs was a trailer for an enemy unit in campaign. And that was maybe a month or two ago. I'm sick of these guys shoving information down our throats! If only great games like Call of Duty did this, then we'd all actually get constant information that is relevant to our interests.

      "great games like call of duty" not sure if stupid or joking

        I think you mean stupid or trolling =/

        Call of Duty is better than Zelda.

          Of course it is for you since it doesn't require much thought or imagination. Be proud that you're easily amused http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yiMvofPeQg

      I was being sarcastic you nubs.

      (this comment tree has me confused and I hope this goes in the right place, unlike the last one)

    I'm sick of hearing a running commentary of your thoughts on EVERYTHING Luke. Please act like a journalist, give us the facts. Maybe write an opinion piece once and a while and we, the reader, will decide if we are sick of hearing about a game or not. You better not give this game less attention purely because you are sick of it. Good games journalism is giving the reader what they want to hear about.

      I wouldn't even call him a journalist.

      More of a news aggregator.

      I'm a "reader" as you put it and I thought this was an interesting thing to address in relation to press coverage of an upcoming title. An opinion piece on a developer telling us about their game far to much compared to something like another article in how a company like Valve has told us nothing about Half Life: Episode 3 I felt was a breath of fresh air. Consider the "reader" given what he wanted.

      "I am sick to death of hearing about BioShock Infinite" seems like an opinion to me.
      Get off Lukes back he does his job which is to provide you with things that are happening around the gaming world. He brings to your attention things that other sites have written which you may find interesting. his job clearly involves him going through hundreds of gaming sites and other mediums finding things that may interest you and posting them here so that if you are interest you can go read them. If Escapist gets an exclusive interview that is deep and hard to find on there site chances are look will find it and post it here.
      If you hate his stuff dont click the link!

      It IS an opinion piece. And I agree with him, I've lost most of my hype for this game.

      Isn't this his opinion on the marketing of Bioshock Infinite where he makes valid points about when to release games (and stuff) and features actual quotes from the producers?

      I was being sarcastic you nubs.

    Your last two 'paragraphs' are wrong, as soon as something leaks it loses alot of punch from the official announcement. eg Halo 4.

      To be fair, Halo 4 was pretty much a given since 343 took over from Bungie.

      But I do agree. A leak can do a lot of damage. But what about controlled leaking, then?

    I think this article is complete rubbish. We haven't heard too much about Infinite and we haven't heard too little. If anything I would say we have heard probably the right amount. Nice attention piece Luke.

    Every time i hear "Mario" i want to fucking kill someone by punching their head off and launching it directly into the fucking SUN!!

    I'd like to hear reporting on what I'm personally considering the most anticipated game of 2012 personally, kthx.

    It's really not surprising that ol' Aussie Luke works for Kotaku US and not Kotaku AU. Can't see Mark letting this shit through.

    Another rant to try and present another article.

    Bioshock infinite hasn't had a saturation of publicity nor has had a trinkle of info since it was announced nearly 2 years ago. For the timespace, i think they have it about right to keep interest and to maintain hype for what looks to be one of the biggest titles of the year.

    Compare this to Activisisions brutal advertising campaign, which with the CoD franchise essentially is never ending. Tid bits of something new, spread out over time is far better than seeing general claims and rehashed material we've seen the past 5 years shoved in our faces . Now what do you think is worse? I find that the advertising on the production of Bioshock infinite so far has been refreshing and keeps a glimmer of hope that there will be still great unique IPs to come then the rehashed, over saturated and lackluster games being churned out today.

    Now how about next time we cut out the personal crap out of an article, and just report what is there, and you can compile rants into one piece and have a debate with the readers there. I really hate coming online now to read any news article in general and find a lot of bias, or blatantly incorrect statements or information.

    I haven't seen a great deal on Bioshock Infinity in the last month or so but it did confuse me as to why they released trailers based on some of the enemies: "Heavy Hitters" i believe they called them.

    Part of the greatest joy you can get from the bioshock franchise is the unknown factor that the games represent - it's FAR better for them to give you brief glimpses of this fantastical world and amazing enemy types... rather than showing 45 minutes of in game footage and a separate segment for different enemy types.

    That first trailer? The first person one with the guy aaaaalmost being saved but then dropping - amazing - everything there after, well, it hasn't really done it for me.

    See now Mass Effect 3 had some REALLY nice trailers and build up: excellent momentum, nice pacing on press releases - all spot on. Also also, BORDERLANDS 2 trailer. Very, very nice.

    There's a reason when I'm looking forward to a game, I generally avoid stuff after the first trailer or two.

    Dear Luke, I'm sick to death of Halo game coverage. If it were up to me, not a single report on Halo would be published ever again. However I can respect that people want Halo coverage. I really want Bioshock Infinite, as do many others. I will gladly read any Bioshock coverage.

    This article does seem pretty stupid, but only because I don't know the last time I heard anything about Bioshock: Infinite. That said, it's been tagged in 11 articles since beginning of March, had no articles in February, and then there were more in January. I forget my point. Not all of them are BS:I centric though.

    Anyway, I haven't played nor have had much interest in the first to games.
    But this one? It has a giant metal bird. That alone is awesome. Do bold tags work? I am about to find out.

      >to
      Holy shit, how did I let that error through? It must be bed time.

    This coming from a man who posted articles about MW3 for months before and after its release.

    You know count me in as someone who is sick to death of Bioshock Infinite, this years Gears of War 3 - seriously I'm pretty sure it should've been released by now (or at one stage it was slated for an early 2012 release) now that moment has passed and frankly I'm more interested in other stuff that's around the corner.

    I just think the title of the game is moronic. :-P

    Excited for the game though :)

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